Chennai: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the country GDP growth would move up from the trough of 5 per cent it hit in the June quarter. “Our full focus is now on how GDP can rise in the next quarter,” she said.
She also attributed the automobile slowdown, partly, to the mindset change in the millennials, who now prefer taxis from Ola and Uber to committing to monthly installments for a car.
The government, she said, will speed up spending in infrastructure related projects to boost consumption in the economy. The Centre has set up a task force to boost investments in infrastructure projects and is in the process of identifying the sectors which need funding.
"Government spending has to be speeded up to boost consumption. The best spending will be on infrastructure. We have announced Rs 100 lakh crore and that is the amount which I think has to be speeded up for infrastructure related projects. I have appointed a task force to speedily identify the technically feasible and financially/ economically viable infrastructure projects so that money can be front-loaded", she said.
The task force is in the process of identifying projects which would receive the funding. The task force has secretaries from different ministries, other senior officials and the Niti Aayog CEO.
The Finance Minister also assured stakeholders that the government will respond to the demands of the automobile sector which is facing its worst sales performance in over two decades. “We are conscious that we need to respond,” she said. However, on the demand for a cut in the GST rate on automobiles from 28 per cent, she said the GST Council would take a call on this at its September 20 meeting in Goa.