New Dehli: Taking stock of the ongoing economic slowdown that has plagued the second term of Modi government, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman addressed a press meet on Saturday and announced a slew of measures to curb the crisis.
“Govt working to reduce ‘Time to export’ by leveraging technology further;action plan to reduce turn around time at airports and ports bench marked to international standards to be implemented by Dec 2019 & Inter-Ministerial group will monitor this,” said the Finance Minister.
She asserted that Dubai-like mega shopping festival will be held across the country in four destinations, by March 2020. “It is greater push for people to make contacts and connections,” she claimed.
The Finance Minister is also likely to share her feedback on the recent steps taken to revive business confidence and liquidity in the market.
Earlier, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had criticized the Modi-led government for the massive economic slowdown calling it “man-made blunders of demonetization and a hastily implemented GST”.
Notably, Sitharaman has been holding meetings with leading economists and industry experts to arrest the slump down and boost economic growth.
In a major reform measure, the finance minister had announced the merger of 10 Public Sector Banks (PSBs) into 4 bank units, amalgamating Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank of India with Punjab National Bank, Canara Bank and Syndicate Bank, Indian Bank and Allahabad Bank, and Union Bank of India, Andhra Bank with Corporation Bank.
Sitharaman also withdrew the high surcharge on Foreign Portfolio Investments (FPIs) and domestic investors, introduced various sops for infrastructure in the auto industry and breathers for startups.
India’s economy is in its slowest run of the past seven years in the April to June quarter of FY20. From an eight per cent during Q1 of 2018-19 to 5 per cent in this quarter, the GDP has fallen by three per cent in barely a year. This marks the fourth successive quarter of decline in growth on the trot.