Indian economy recovering, moving towards sustained growth, says top official

Finance secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey on Sunday hinted that the Centre is working on another stimulus package to boost the economy. 

Finance secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey on Sunday (November 1) hinted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre is working on another stimulus package to boost the economy but Pandey did not provide a timeframe for the same.

“We keep monitoring the situation on the ground to assess which sector of the economy or segment of the population needs what kind of help at which time and respond accordingly. We keep taking suggestions from industry bodies, trade associations, various ministries and after going through their suggestions and requirements of the economy, we come out with timely measures,” Ajay Bhushan Pandey said in an interview to ANI.

The senior government official said that Indian economy was not only recovering but it is also moving towards sustained growth.

Pandey said that GST collection in October was Rs 105,155 crore which is 10 per cent higher year-on-year for the corresponding month in 2019. According to Pandey, the economy had also shown 4 per cent growth at Rs 95,480 crore in GST collections in September. 

“September and October data shows that we have reached Pre-COVID-19 level and gone into positive territory. If we compare with the last year, the E-Way bill in September has seen year on year growth of 10 per cent and in October it has seen a growth of 21 per cent If we are able to maintain this growth for the next five months, then we can say that we can transition from deep negative zone to near-zero growth zone by March 2021. International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected India”s GDP to contract 10.3 per cent this fiscal year, revised from its forecast of a 4.5 per cent decline in June,” Pandey added.

In October, the Reserve Bank of India had predicted that Indian economy would contract by 9.5 per cent in the current fiscal. It is to be noted that GDP contracted 23.9 per cent in the first quarter of the fiscal.

“If we see the growth of the FMCG, auto sectors, it shows that we are going in the direction of sustained growth. We are analysing every sector and this is a continuous process. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, we have been continuously monitoring every sector. Whatever was required for helping migrants, vulnerable sections of the rural or urban populations, we did. When the nation was in lockdown, we gave cash to women Jan Dhan account holders in their bank accounts through DBT. We provided early instalments to farmers under PM Kisan Yojana,” said Pandey.

“We helped employees and employers in their EPF contribution. We earmarked ₹ 3 lakh crore for enhanced working capital to MSMEs, out of which ₹ 2 lakh crore has been sanctioned and amounts are being disbursed. MSMEs were also given the benefits of loan moratorium. We have given income tax refunds of ₹ 1.27 lakh crores in last seven months. We have given GST refunds of ₹ 70,000 crore,” he added.

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