Agriculture driving growth; open to more measures: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

Sitharaman said the government would soon come out with a list of select ‘strategic sectors’ where the presence of state-owned companies would remain.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said green shoots were visible in the economy and the agriculture sector was driving growth. The government, she said, had kept all options open in terms of future interventions to boost the economy.

“We have kept all options necessary absolutely open. The government is willing to participate, talk to everybody and see what best has to be done. Interventions can happen even in future, depending on how industry responds to us,” Sitharaman said at the US-India Business Council’s India Ideas Summit, through videoconferencing.

She acknowledged the forecasts by various agencies on India’s GDP contraction for 2020-21, but said signs of a recovery were visible through many key indicators.

“There has been speculation about the extent to which the economy is going to contract. Globally it has been speculated that 4.7-4.9 levels. There have been similar forecasts for India as well.”

“But I can see revival, particularly if you look at India’s rural areas. We have had a very good summer crop. All of it has been procured at reasonable prices so that farmers are not left high and dry. Now the estimate for kharif crops has also come. We can clearly see the agriculture sector is driving the revival,” she said.

Sitharaman said the government would soon come out with a list of select ‘strategic sectors’ where the presence of state-owned companies would remain. “In India every sector is private sector as there is no sector reserved for public sector alone. We will have a list of a select few strategic sectors, and PSUs will be present in only certain pre-determined sectors,” she said.

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