Kiran Mazumdar Shaw says 5 percent GDP growth illustrates ‘economic emergency’

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Published: August 30, 2019 10:06:20 PM

Industrialist Kiran Mazumdar Shaw on Friday said GDP growth plummeting to 5 per cent illustrates an "economic emergency" which should act as a wake up call for the Government to act more and do it fast.

“Shocking, no one expected it to be as low. If this is not a wake up call for an economic emergency, recognising the fact that we have a economic decline, then what is?” she said (File)

Industrialist Kiran Mazumdar Shaw on Friday said GDP growth plummeting to 5 per cent illustrates an “economic emergency” which should act as a wake up call for the Government to act more and do it fast. Speaking at the ‘India Economic Conclave 2019′ in Bengaluru, Shaw said no one expected the GDP growth to be this low, and marked out infrastructure as the key area which the Government should focus on.

“Shocking, no one expected it to be as low. If this is not a wake up call for an economic emergency, recognising the fact that we have a economic decline, then what is?” she said, speaking at the Times Group event, minutes after the release of the economic data. “It is clear reflection that the economy is not just slowing down, but has come to a grinding halt,” she added.

Shaw, who heads the south-headquartered Biocon, said the economic growth data clearly suggests a fall in consumption which needs to be addressed. She suggested doing away with the 28 per cent GST slab in full, saying it is impacting auto and hospitality sectors badly, in turn adversely impacting jobs. By reducing the tax base, the Government can help prop-up demand in such a way that more units of the same commodity get bought, and the higher denominator will ensure tax revenues are not lost.

In order to revive the growth, the Government needs to focus on the factor of sentiment at first, which should also include investments, she said, welcoming the moves on state run banks’ consolidation. She said the government was “cautiously optimistic” about reviving the growth till now, but cannot be in a state of “denial” anymore, and added that the data for the second quarter will also paint a slower economic growth. The Government is becoming more “receptive”, she said, pointing out to the series of meetings which the Finance Minister has been conducting with India Inc. “We were hoping to be a USD 3 trillion economy by end of this fiscal, I don’t know how we can do that with this 5 per cent growth,” she questioned.

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