India Signals More Measures to Spur Economy as Growth Plummets
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during a press conference in Kolkata. (Source: PTI)

India Signals More Measures to Spur Economy as Growth Plummets

(Bloomberg) --

India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said she would unveil more measures to shore up economic growth days after data showed the weakest expansion in output in six years.

“We are looking at challenges various sectors are facing,” Sitharaman told reporters in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata on Friday. The government is “taking a considered view on how we have to respond to each one of them, just so that those sectors get the solutions that they have asked.”

The government last month announced a series of measures including tax benefits on vehicle purchases, rollback of an extra levy on foreign funds and easier foreign investment rules to bolster the economy. The announcements were followed by data last week that showed gross domestic product rose 5% in the June quarter from a year ago, the slowest pace since March 2013.

Domestic consumption, which contributes about 60% to GDP, has been weak, hurting companies from automobiles to cookie-makers. Automakers have sought a reduction of tax on vehicles to 18% from 28%, while biscuit makers too sought a cut in goods and services tax.

The government has so far refrained from announcing any major tax cuts or fiscal giveaways.

“We are openly engaging with every sector which is expecting the government to respond,” Sitharaman said.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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