Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s comments on the economy come hours after former Prime Minister and Congress party veteran Dr Manmohan Singh lashed out at the government for the current state of economy calling it all-round mismanagement.
Amid the growing clamour around economic slowdown, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday addressing a press conference said that the government is in consultation with many sectors. “In some sectors, the inventory is piling up. We have heard them and announcements were made on August 23. Last Friday, we also made some announcements,” the minister said even though she refused to comment on the slowdown. The minister also said that decisions regarding the GST rate cut will be taken up by the GST Council.
The finance minister’s comments on the economy comes hours after former Prime Minister and Congress party veteran Dr Manmohan Singh lashed out at the government for the current state of economy calling it man-made crisis and deeply worrying due to the Modi government’s “all-round mismanagement” as the last quarter’s GDP growth rate of 5 per cent signals that India is in the midst of a prolonged slowdown.
When asked about Singh’s comments on the economy, Nirmala Sitharaman refused to comment saying that “Is Dr Manmohan Singh saying that instead of indulging in political vendetta they should consult sane voices? Has he said that? All right, thank you, I will take his statement on it. That is my answer.” The minister had on Thursday slammed the Congress for calling the government and economy unfit after the party mocked Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Fit India Movement to the economic slowdown. “They (Congress) couldn’t control prices, they led the country in corruption, so to talk about fit and unfit is not for them,” she had said on Thursday.
With respect to employees of PSU banks protesting against the government’s decision to merge that would lead to the closure of six banks, as reported by PTI, the minister clarified there is no such closure. “No banks are being asked to do anything different from what they were doing. In fact, we are giving them more capital to do what they were doing,” Nirmala Sitharaman said.
The government had earlier this week announced the merger of 10 public sector banks into four large entities. Punjab National Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank would be merged to create India’s second-largest lender followed by the amalgamation of Canara Bank and Syndicate Bank. Union Bank of India will acquire Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank while Indian Bank will merge with Allahabad Bank.