Days after Q2FY20 GDP growth rate falling to a new low, finance minister Nirmala Sitharmaan on Saturday said that the government will frontload investments worth Rs 100 lakh crore over a five-year period. The massive investment will see the government spending in ten infrastructure projects by December 10, 2019, ET Now reported citing Nirmala Sitharaman as saying at a media event. The GDP growth rate continued its downward spiral for the seventh consecutive quarter, falling to 4.5 per cent in the second quarter (July-September) of the year 2019-20.
Adding, the finance minister said that the government is also mulling rationalising GST rates. Even as Nirmala Sitharaman announced fresh plans to boost the sluggish economy, she held herself back committing on the fiscal deficit target of the government. The market may have to keep speculating for some more time on the target, she also said at the event. The fiscal deficit rose at Rs 3.66 lakh crore, or 52 per cent of the budgeted target in the first two months of FY20, official data showed on Friday. The fiscal deficit was 55.3 per cent of 2018-19 budget estimate in the year-ago period. A target of 3.4 per cent for fiscal 2019-20, the same as fiscal 2018-19 was set up by the government in the interim budget.
Meanwhile, Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday defended the government’s economic record in the last six months saying that various significant steps have been taken to boost the economy. Several significant steps in structural reforms have been taken in these months. Responses and interventions addressing the needs of the economy will continue,” Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted. She also hinted at the government announcing more reforms in the upcoming budget in the month of February.