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Minister heckled as delayed effect of DeMo blamed for slowdown

The minister’s question provoked mild heckling, as someone from the convention replied that slowdown is the delayed impact of demonetisation.

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Anurag Thakur

New Delhi, Sep 6 (IANS) In a minor heckling, Union Minister Anurag Thakur on Friday was confronted at the industry event here with allegation that government’s demonetisation exercise was to blame for the current slowdown that has impacted the economy.

Speaking at the ACMA (Automobile Components Manufacturers Association) annual convention here on Friday, Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur asked the industry to introspect the reasons for the slowdown despite the government’s recent announcements to address the concerns raised by the industry and the fact that heavy discounting was taking place.

“Couple of things which I want to understand, for example if there is reduction in the interest rates after the RBI announcements; you are also giving discounts; many other initiatives have been taken by the Central government, then why are we still not seeing the same kind of demand in the automobile industry?” Thakur asked.

“Is the demand coming down globally? or is it coming down locally? … or is it just cyclical?”

The minister’s question provoked mild heckling, as someone from the convention replied that slowdown is the delayed impact of demonetisation.

To this, the minister thanked the heckler and resumed his address to the convention.

He said that government is listening to the industry and at the same time taking quick policy decisions to address the concerns raised by various sectors.

Interestingly, Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, Arjun Ram Meghwal, who also attended the event said economic reforms such as demonetisation and GST led to India becoming a $3 trillion economy under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He also termed the auto industry’s problems as minor which will soon be tackled.

According to Meghwal, when the government can extend the Parliament session to remove (abrogate) an “evil thing” such as Article 370, then auto sector’s woes are minor and will be settled very soon as the Centre is aiming to make India a $5 trillion economy.

He said “all will be tackled and settled, you don’t worry,” he added.

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Extend lockdown period till April 30 to contain Covid-19: CAIT

“Nearly 7 crore small businesses employ another forty crore people and therefore if by any chance the disease starts spreading among the traders of the country, then it will have a devastating effect on the entire nation.”

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Coronavirus india lockdown

New Delhi, April 8 : The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has urged the Centre to extend the lockdown period till April 30 to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Accordingly, CAIT in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that it has made this recommendation based on a survey conducted with senior trade leaders of all states.

“Although the traders will be facing several trading, economic and financial challenges, yet in the interest of the Country, the traders are well prepared to extend best services to the nation,” the confederation said in a statement.

“However, whatever decision the Government will take, the trading community across the country will follow the same in letter and spirit,” it said further.

“Even though the economic and financial impact of a continued lockdown may be unbearable, we are hopeful that we will fight back strongly to resurrect our economy and rebuild our resources with due support from the government in the form of a well thought out financial and economic stimulus to the small and medium trading sector.”

The letter said the confederation has undertaken a survey with prominent trade leaders of all states of the country and have come to the conclusion that during these troubled times, “it would be in fitness of things, if the current lockdown period is extended up to April 30, so to negate any prospect of further spreading of COVID-19”.

The letter said that in view of the burgeoning number of cases of Covid-19 in India over the last one week and to add impetus to the Government’s overall effort to combat the disease and prevent community spread, the business community stands with “you in solidarity and whatever the decision, the government takes, the trading community will abide by such decision and follow the same in its true letter and spirit”.

“After this period is seen through and after assessing the ground realities on that day, we should plan a staggered exit and start lifting restrictions if the situation permits. Almost all national leaders of domestic trade have expressed grave health and safety hazards to the retailers because of their incessant exposure to the public at large,” the letter read.

“Nearly 7 crore small businesses employ another forty crore people and therefore if by any chance the disease starts spreading among the traders of the country, then it will have a devastating effect on the entire nation.”

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Goldman Sachs halves India’s FY21 GDP growth to 1.6%

The report, however, said that a strong sequential recovery in the second half of the fiscal year is expected based on three assumptions.

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Goldman Sachs

New Delhi, April 8 : The outlook for the Indian economy looks bleak as the Goldman Sachs has revised its forecast for the country’s real GDP growth rate for the financial year 2020-21 to 1.6 per cent.

In a report, it said that with the spread of the pandemic and the eventual lockdown have resulted in a significant contraction in economic activity.

The outlook has been revised downwards from the previous forecast of 3.3 per cent.

“The 1.6 per cent growth for FY21 would be deeper compared to widely perceived ‘recessions’ India experienced in the 1970s, 1980s, and in 2009. Notably, the global COVID-19 crisis — or more precisely, the response to that crisis — represents a physical (as opposed to purely financial) constraint on economic activity that is unprecedented in postwar history,” it said.

It said that despite the policy support provided so far the nation-wide shutdown, and rising public anxiety about the virus are likely to lead to a sharp deterioration in economic activity in March, and in the next quarter.

The report, however, said that a strong sequential recovery in the second half of the fiscal year is expected based on three assumptions.

First, the 3-week nationwide lockdown, which is expected to be removed only in a staggered fashion, and social distancing measures reduce new infections over the next 4-6 weeks. Second, while the fiscal easing so far has been limited, the expectation is for further fiscal stimulus by the Centr and the states.

“Third, we expect the RBI to continue with its monetary easing policy, along with liquidity infusion measures. While more forceful policy support could present some upside risk, the recovery could further be delayed if the pandemic is not brought under control globally and domestically over the next few months,” it added.

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NAREDCO seeks $200 bn relief for the entire economy

“Since real estate accounts for 6-7 per cent of India’s GDP and employs nearly 10-11 per cent of population, we urge the government to focus on the demand of the developers.”

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NAREDCO

Mumbai, April 8 : Real estate industry body NAREDCO has requested the Centre for $200 billion relief for the entire economy to meet the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.

NAREDCO said that real estate has been under consistent stress since the last few years and that market dynamics have changed rapidly which has resulted in rising unsold inventories in the country.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has paused the real estate sector while disrupting the businesses across the nation. While the RBI and the Finance Minister have taken several measures to ease the load on consumers’ shoulder, real estate collectively grapples with the impact of the pandemic,” NAREDCO said in a statement.

According to the real estate industry body, in order to keep up with the world economy, the Centre should suspend all NCLT activities for next 6 months considering the downfall of the economy of India.

“The idea is to provide a breathing space to companies who have faced huge losses due to rapidly decreasing stock prices, which has made high net worth companies prone to be taken over by foreign investors, the results of which can be devastating for India,” the statement said.

“Since real estate accounts for 6-7 per cent of India’s GDP and employs nearly 10-11 per cent of population, we urge the government to focus on the demand of the developers.”

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