New Delhi, Feb 4 (IANS) Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday asked the industry to shun hesitation and invest to pull the economy out of the stress while making it clear that government spending will never be enough so the industry has to chip in too.
“I don’t think in today’s condition it can be just government spending which can pull economy towards growth and we want the industry to stop hesitating… I strongly believe industry today will have to come out of hesitation which you have..,” she said at the post Budget meeting with CII.
Sitharaman said that the biggest priority of the government was to keep the macroeconomic stability unchanged, adding that it was clear that they couldn’t play around or violate the FRBM Act, so they utilised escape clause as given in the Act.
The FM said she expected industry to be the engine to pull the economy forward and do its own bit
“I had several interactions with industry leaders before the budget presentations and will be spending time focusing on the implementation of the budget. The government has done its bit on simplifying & cutting corporate tax rates and now expects the industry to be the engine to pull the economy forward as the government spends is not sufficient,” she added.
The Minister said the government will push exports on WTO compliant lines.
“We are aiming to push exports which are compliant with WTO norms. We want to support exports while being in compliance with WTO norms,” she said.
She also clarified that there is no shift in ‘Make in India’, and the government is using ‘Assemble in India’ as a platform for it.
“‘Assemble in India’ has a different positioning in India and the government has not left ‘Make in India’ unattended. Under ‘Make in India’, we want to give a platform to Indian manufacturers. The idea is to make ‘Assemble in India’ a part of ‘Make In India’… there is no shift from ‘Make in India’. The ‘Assemble in India’ is also important and would rather supplement ‘Make In India’,” she added.
“We want government intervention to be meaningful rather than rushed into and we seek industry to keep giving the required feedback.”
Reiterating the significance of industry, she said that the industry has a big opportunity in capacity creation and development in rural India. She added that the government is not closing the doors for industry and is just looking at meaningful intervention.
“We have the biggest priority is keeping the macro economic stability undisturbed,” she said while rubbishing reports of protectionism in hiking duty on medical devices.
The minister said government does not want cheap imports to flood markets.
In another major move to provide a cushion to the sagging economy, the government has identified spending for infrastructure to be focus area, she said, adding that spending on asset creation and its cascading effect will help the industry.