Govt will soon announce 2 more big steps to push consumption: FM Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, MoS for Finance Anurag Thakur, and finance secretary Rajiv Kumar during a press conference in New Delhi | PTI

Stating that consumption needs to be given a push, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Thursday said the Centre will announce two more big steps in the coming days to give momentum to industry.

The government has decided to increase spending and has announced a slew of measures to arrest the sluggishness in the automobile market, she told a press conference here.

She also informed that authorities have been instructed to clear all pending GST refunds within the next 30 days, while asking to release all such refunds within 60 days in future.

The minister, however, did not elaborate on the two steps to be taken by the government.

"Globally if we compare economy and growth, we still are the fastest growing economy ... We recognise that consumption has to be given a push," she said.

The government has decided to increase public spending with "considerable spending in infrastructure" to boost the economy, Sitharaman said.

Asked about the government's plans to utilise the Rs 1.76 lakh crore received from the RBI, she said nothing has been decided yet.

Sitharaman hit out at the Congress for indulging in "huge corruption and scandals" to run the economy and said its tenure saw inflation touching double digits with skyrocketing prices.

Responding to a query on Congress' reported comment on running an "unfit economy", she said the opposition party should not comment on the economy being "fit or unfit".

"They (Congress) led the country with corruption and exploited the public asset," she said.

Earlier in the day, Sitharaman and her junior minister Anurag Thakur held discussions with tax authorities and industry representatives.

"We have the message of the prime minister that tax authorities should be facilitator than enforcer. Industry should be facilitated. Entrepreneurs should be respected," she said.

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