FM Press Conference HIGHLIGHTS: In the press conference addressed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today, she said that the government has firmed up plans of Rs 102 lakh crore worth of infrastructure projects. This was her second press conference in three days, and FM added that today’s announcements are further to the government’s plan to get infrastructure projects worth Rs 100 lakh crore going in the next five years. Of the total Rs 102 lakh crore of National Infrastructure Pipeline projects, approximately 63% of the projects are firmed up, she said. “It is estimated that India would need to spend $4.5 trillion on infrastructure by 2030 to sustain its growth rate, hence this endeavour of the National Infrastructure Pipeline will make things happen in an efficient manner. This also looks towards creating jobs, improvise ease of living, and provide equal access of infrastructure for all, thereby making growth more inclusive,” Manju Yagnik, Vice Chairperson Nahar Group and Vice President NAREDCO (Maharashtra) said. The government will also organise an annual global investor summit and the first summit is expected to be held in the second half of 2020. In her previous press meet, FM had made major announcements including waiving of MDR (merchant discount rate) on payment via RuPay and UPI platforms to boost India’s cashless economy. Nirmala Sitharaman had also launched an online portal called EBkray for auction of assets attached by banks. The stock market was trading under pressure today with BSE Sensex closing down 304 points and Nifty 50 ending down 193 points. “We continue to maintain our cautious stance on the Indian markets in the near term, given the recent run up. The market participants would keep a close watch on Auto sales data to be announced tomorrow. Apart from this, movement in crude oil prices and currency would be actively tracked by the traders,” Ajit Mishra, VP – Research, Religare Broking said.