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FM Nirmala Sitharaman says still in talks with PMO in reviving sentiment

Sitharaman refused to say if government is planning to come out with a stimulus package to arrest the deepening slowdown, or ruled the possibility of one either.

PTI|
Aug 16, 2019, 07.15 PM IST
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PTI
Nirmala-Sitharaman-PTI1
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman
AHMEDABAD: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman Friday said her officials are in discussions with their counterparts in the PMO and once the talks are over government will figure out what remedial steps should be taken and announce the same.

However, she refused to say if government is planning to come out with a stimulus package to arrest the deepening slowdown, or ruled the possibility of one either.

"Since Monday, I have met five different groups representing banks and financial institutions, SMEs, industries and automobiles and listened to their problems. We are analysing what steps should be taken now," she told reporters when asked about a revival roadmap that her ministry is planning to unveil.

"Yesterday (Thursday) we had a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the economy," the minister added.

On a specific question whether government will announce a stimulus package, Sitharaman quipped: "I have not talked about any stimulus package, and whatever appearing in a section of the media is not given by me.

"Discussions are going on about what steps should be taken and we will announce them when we are ready," was all she would say.

Industry has for long been seeking some stimulus measures in the form of a GST reduction across the sectors as it not just auto sales-which had hit a 19 year low in July plunging over 31 percent, but even consumer staples are facing the heat now. The industry also wants roll-back of some budget measures like the super rich tax on FPIs.

Since the budget, the markets have tanked over 12 percent as the minister unveiled as slew of measures that have poured cold water on sentiment, making it one of the worst post-budget losses since the economy was opened up in 1991.

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