Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday termed the 4.7 per cent GDP growth of Q3 as “steadiness” in the economy and a good sign, soon after the official figures for the December quarter were released.
She also made it clear that she was not expecting a jump in the number, nor a decline.
The Finance Minister was speaking at an award function of a private TV channel.
The GDP growth was at 5.6 per cent in the same period of the last fiscal and the current Q3 figure of 4.7 per cent is a seven-year low GDP growth rate.
On the impact of coronavirus on the economy, Ms Sitharaman sought to allay any fears saying there is no need to immediately press the “panic button”, but things could get challenging if the issues prolong for another two or three weeks, citing feedback from the pharmaceutical and electronic industries, which depend heavily on imports of raw material from China.
The industry has suggested airlifting of essential items and the government may consider the same, the minister said.
While the logistics for airlifting such as aggregating the goods have to be done by the industry itself, she assured help from the government through the consular staff.
Ms Sitharaman said the government is “pushing the banks like never before” to lend in all categories, including retail, home and agriculture segments.
She also said that the government is working on creating a development finance institution akin to ICICI and IDBI before they turned into full-fledged banks.