Live: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on the Indian Economy at ‘Agenda Aaj Tak’

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman spoke on the Indian economy and its state on ‘Agenda Aaj Tak’ conclave, where she addressed several questions on farm laws, cryptocurrency, as well as government’s plan on inflation and how to curb the rise in prices.

Meanwhile, the Indian economy remained on track to post the fastest growth among major economies this year as its GDP expanded by a better-than-expected 8.4 per cent in the July-September quarter to cross pre-pandemic levels.

The GDP growth in the second quarter of the current fiscal (2021-22) was lower than the 20.1 per cent expansion in the previous quarter — which largely reflected a bounce back from last year’s crash — but was better than the contraction of 7.4 per cent in July-September 2020, official data released on Tuesday showed.

Here are the highlights:

-On India’s bourses, FM says, “Retail participation in India’s stock markets is seeing multitudinal increase’”

-Informal sector jobs: Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS), which was started for MSMEs, has now been extended to other sectors too. Over 5 Cr people have been retained in their jobs because of that: FM.

-On India’s Unicorn boom, FM says: Since 2015, we’ve taken multiple steps regarding the growth of startups. And all initiatives taken by the Govt in the last few years has had a positive impact.

-Blockchain technology has important role in financial inclusion. Cryptocurrency bill takes into account benefits of blockchain technology: FM

-Cryptocurrency bill will take into account the underlying technology: FM

-On cryptocurrency regulation in India, FM says: Bill on crypto-currencies on anvil, set to go to Cabinet shortly

-MSP and its performance should be discussed in comparison to current NDA government and previous governments: FM.

-Informal GoM keeps taking measures to cool prices: FM

-India will not see 10-12% inflation, will remain in check around 6%. If inflation rate breaches 6%, then it is a worrisome situation, says FM.

-On inflation, FM Sitharaman says: Middle class will get affected if prices go up. 

– Government used higher fuel revenues for funding infrastructure development, says FM. 

-On Farm Laws repeal, FM says, ‘Strong government doesn’t mean that it cannot understand the issues of the people and cannot be sensitive towards them.

-“Mazboot sarkar, mann ko samajhne wale” is what we believe in: FM

– On asset monetisation pipeline, FM says government’s plan is concrete. People of India are looking and every protestor against it will not be able get inspired to change it.

FM said it’s a negative attitude of the opposition. There is a concern in the mind of the opposition that now they are not able to target the Modi government.

-Regarding the danger of Omicron variants, people should follow the rules of Corona

– Industry wants to be cautioned on Covid-19’s Omicron. 19 out of 22 indicators of the economy have surpassed pre-covid levels:  FM

– Speaking on the Covid-19 vaccination, the Centre has boosted vaccination. India’s belief on Prime Minister Narendra Modi is already there, says FM. 

– Nirmala Sitharaman begins interacting on the Agenda Aaj Tak conclave.

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