Economic data has conveyed a positive message, but sustaining the numbers in the upcoming months will make the recovery certain, according to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
“A positive message is coming, whether it is increased GST collections, car and two-wheeler figures, exports, FDI inflows, forex reserves, PMI numbers or the rural economy sustaining its positive growth. All this gives the hope that it is sustaining, but on a note of caution, I will still say I wish we can get on a firmer ground sooner and talk with a lot more certainty,” Sitharaman told the Times of India.
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) collections in October 2020 were Rs 1.05 lakh crore, the first time monthly revenues crossed the Rs 1-lakh crore mark in FY21.
Acknowledging that inflation is always a concern, Sitharaman said, “In India, perishable goods inflation is an issue. For perishable goods, if the smallest disruption happens the supply side, it immediately jacks up consumer-end prices.”
Systemic reforms, better storage, better preservation of perishable goods can help and we are working on it, she added.
The finance minister also said the next Budget will focus on infrastructure and reforms. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with top global investors on November 5 will serve as a major catalytic point. Once money goes into infrastructure, it has a very strong multiplier in boosting the economy,” Sitharaman told the newspaper.
Asked about the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, she said that the logistics required to take vaccines to every tehsil are “all worked out and laid down.” The progress on an India-developed vaccine is very satisfying, she added.