Economic slowdown ‘cyclical and temporary’: Javadekar

Union minister Prakash Javadekar. (PTI Photo)

The Centre on Sunday sought to allay fears over the state of the economy by terming the current slowdown as “cyclical and temporary”, with Union minister Prakash Javadekar stating that necessary measures were being taken to ensure that the growth rate was not hurt. 

Presenting a report card on the first 100 days of the Modi government 2.0, Javadekar, who heads the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) ministry, attributed the recent dip in the growth rate to the global slowdown, saying it had an impact on the “sentiments”.

“There is no panic situation,” said Javadekar. “The fundamentals of our economy are so strong. They have not been disturbed. The domestic demand is eased. It has not been hurt. There will always be some patches because the world over there is a slowdown which also impacts markets here and the people’s behavioural changes. We should not be worried too much.” 

The minister said the economy was on a “strong footing”, as he replied to a volley of questions at a presser organised to showcase the achievements of the Modi government. 

“The government is responding with whatever actions are immediately necessary. This is a temporary phase, not a direction of a real slowdown. We are expecting more and more foreign investment and more and more domestic demand because of our good governance model,” he added.

India’s economy grew at 5% in the April-June quarter, the slowest in six years, driven by weak investment growth and sluggish demand. 

“It is not that this never happened. During the UPA regime, the economy grew at 7-8%. In one quarter, it came at 5%,” Javadekar said when asked why the GDP was at 5% when all was well according to him.

To questions on job losses, Javadekar evaded a direct reply and said there would “always” be problems “in a dynamic economy”.

On the government’s decision to merge public sector banks, Javadekar said it was “a right step in the right direction”.

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