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IBLA 2020: GDP numbers show signs of steadying economy, says FM Sitharaman

Updated : February 28, 2020 08:58 PM IST

India Business Leader Awards 2020 (IBLA) event hosted by CNBC-TV18 saw some of the big names from politics and business including Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das.

In an exclusive chat with Shereen Bhan, the finance minister shared her views on the economy and the government's plans to mitigate the impact of coronavirus outbreak.

"I had very exhaustive consultations with representatives of many sectors. None of them said that they have serious challenges right now. However, if the problem doesn't get redressed in the next 2-3 weeks, it would become a very big challenge. There would be raw material shortage, they could be lack of support which comes from China for some of the parts and technical assistance, and movement of people because experts will have to come from there if there are joint ventures or activities as such. But at the moment, there is no need to press the panic button."

The minister said the government is holding consultations with departments concerned. "One of the options that cropped up during the consultations was for industries like pharma and electronics, it is possible to airlift raw materials. We are keeping all options open."

On Q3FY20 GDP growth coming at 4.7 percent, she said: "I didn't expect a surprise, a shocker of a number either way. A shocker of going to 6 percent or shocker of coming down. If this ship is going to be steady and if it is moving forward I think that is the first sign of doing well. I didn't at this time expect or want a shocker of a number either way. To that extent I am happy - we have got at least this - that is not to say the FM is happy with these numbers. It is more to say we want to be steady."
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