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    BJP managed financial crisis better than Congress did in 2008: Nirmala Sitharaman

    BJP managed financial crisis better than Congress did in 2008: Nirmala Sitharaman

    BJP managed financial crisis better than Congress did in 2008: Nirmala Sitharaman
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    By Jomy Jos Pullokaran   IST (Updated)

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    Talking about the Indian economy, she said Sitharaman it grew faster than the US economy in the previous financial year.

    In reply to the debate on Union Budget 2022 in Lok Sabha, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said the Narendra Modi-led government managed the financial crisis better than the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) did in 2008.
    "In 2008 financial crisis, Indian GDP took a hit of Rs 2.21 lakh crore in terms of reduced gains. In the recent crisis, Indian GDP lost Rs 9.57 lakh crore. Despite the disruption to the supply chain, inflation in 2020-21 was 6.2 percent, whereas, in 2008-09, it was 9.1 percent," Sitharaman said.
    "It means that despite the contraction in GDP and much larger loss to GDP, we managed to keep the inflation lower than when India suffered a smaller crisis in 2008," Sitharaman said.
    'Indian economy grew faster than US economy'
    Talking about the Indian economy, she said Sitharaman it grew faster than the US economy in the previous financial year.
    "The Indian economy is projected to grow at 9 percent in the next financial year. The US is expected to grow at 4 percent," she said.
    'Current account in surplus'
    She noted that the BJP government has managed to keep the current account in surplus despite such a massive crisis, whereas in 2008, during a much smaller crisis, the Indian economy was in a current account deficit.
    '44 unicorns show India's talent and innovation'
    Sitharaman said 44 unicorns had been identified in this country. "They have created wealth. They showcase India's talent and innovation. This has happened between 2020 and 2021," she said.
    'Andhkaal under Congress rule'
    The finance minister noted that every village had been electrified in India. She said, "andhkaal" (time of darkness) prevailed during their (Congress) rule, whereas now every house has got electricity in every village.
    She also said PM Mudra Yojana had created 1.2 crore additional employment since its launch in 2015. With regard to employment, she said, urban unemployment has declined to pre-pandemic levels due to various efforts of the government.
    'ECLGS scheme for MSMEs extended'
    Further, Sitharaman said banks had sanctioned loans worth Rs 3.1 lakh crore under the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) for the MSME sector that was impacted by disruptions due to the coronavirus pandemic. The scheme has been extended till March 2023.
    "Those MSMEs who still want to benefit out of it are welcome to use it... the amount of loan sanctioned under the ECLGS is Rs 3.1 lakh crore and guarantee space is still Rs 1.4 lakh crore," she said in her 100-minute reply to the discussion on Union Budget 2022-23. As much as Rs 2.36 lakh crore have been disbursed to MSMEs, she said.
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