Govt, regulators, industry need to work together for India to come out of the pandemic: FM
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman expressed hope that the private investment cycle, which got a fillip from the corporate tax cut in September 2019 but could not take off due to the outbreak of COVID-19, would fructify in the post-pandemic era. “With post-COVID reset happening, emphasis has to be on adoption of data-driven manufacturing models by ploughing greater investments in these models," Sitharaman said.
The finance minister said the structural reforms—a key priority of the government—were having a significant impact on the recovery process that the country was currently witnessing. “All policy announcements (made) during the Covid (pandemic) had a structural component," said the FM addressing industry leaders during an event.
Sitharaman said the Productivity-Linked Incentives (PLI) scheme has revoked excellent response and has helped speed up manufacturing of critical bulk drugs and APIs in six states. She added that her ministry was taking periodic reviews to expedite the due payments to the industry on delayed payments by government agencies.
The finance minister said the infrastructure sector plays a key role in speeding up growth momentum. Hence, to give its financing a further boost, external funds will also be welcome.
Responding to a question about the need for lowering GST rates on two-wheelers, she assured that this was indeed a good suggestion as this category was neither a luxury nor a sin good and hence, merits a rate revision. Consequently, this will be taken up with the GST Council, she added.
The government said in order to facilitate the recovery process, the home ministry has given out directions to the state governments for imposing no curbs on the movement of people and inter-state movement of goods and services. “There cannot be a better time for exemplar cooperation between the government, regulators and industry to ensure that India comes out of the present crisis,” Sitharaman added.
The finance minister said the government was looking to the standard operating procedures for the hotels, banquets and related activities to ease the pain of few of these ailing sectors. On the issue of strategic disinvestment, Sitharaman highlighted that there was a need to move fast on cabinet-cleared disinvestment decisions.
Earlier during the event, CII chief Uday Kotak said though there were ample signs of a nascent recovery from the lows seen in April-May, however, the localised lockdowns implemented in many states have given rise to supply-side bottlenecks, which could impede growth when demand side cranks up.