FM Sitharaman said that there were visible signs of economic revival but the full-year GDP growth may suffer due to a huge economic contraction in Q1.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today said that GDP growth may be in the negative zone or near zero in the current fiscal. Nirmala Sitharaman added that there were visible signs of economic revival but the full-year GDP growth may suffer due to a huge economic contraction of 23.9 per cent in the first quarter of the current fiscal. Speaking at the India Energy Forum of CERAWeek, the minister further said that the government put lives before livelihood and that is why a very firm lockdown was imposed in March, which also gave time to prepare for the pandemic.
FM Sitharaman assured that the festive season will further spur the economy, rekindling hopes of positive growth in the third and fourth quarters. She underlined that the growth will revive from the next fiscal and the government is focussed on public spending to boost economic activity. The minister highlighted that the expenditure on infrastructure, food processing, and agriculture exports is the top priority of the Modi government and it is targeting renewable energy investment, hydrogen-related allied energy investment, and service or product related to fin-tech.
Speaking about India’s energy landscape, FM Sitharaman added that incentivisation for the energy sector will take place in the form of energy conservation and environmental consciousness. She furthers tressed about the adoption of LED in the households, distribution of LPG in all houses, and incentives for states for gas distribution by 2023.
Meanwhile, in the same event, Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday said that the government has planned to raise India’s refining capacities from about 250 MT to 400 MT per annum by 2025. Narendra Modi had added that increasing domestic gas production has been a key government priority as it has planned to achieve ‘One Nation One Gas Grid’ and shift towards a gas-based economy.
PM Modi had also mentioned that this year has been challenging for the energy sector as the demand fell by almost one third and there have been price instability. However, India has been projected to emerge as a leading energy consumer and double its energy consumption over the long term, he underlined.