No plans to print currency notes: Sitharaman on economic crisis
The government has no plan to print currency notes to tide over the current economic crisis triggered by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman informed Parliament on Monday. To a question on whether there is any plan to print currency to tide over the crisis, the Finance Minister said, "No Sir."
India's GDP is estimated to have contracted by 7.3%: Sitharaman
Many economists have suggested resorting to printing more currency notes to support the economy ravaged by the spread of COVID-19, and protect jobs. In a written reply, Sitharaman said, "India's real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is estimated to have contracted by 7.3% during 2020-21. This contraction reflects the unparalleled effect of the pandemic and the containment measures that were taken to control the pandemic."
'Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan has placed economy on path of recovery'
"The fundamentals of the economy remain strong as gradual scaling back of lockdowns, along with the astute support of Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan has placed the economy firmly on the path of recovery from the second half of FY 2020-21," she said.
Government had announced package of Rs. 29.87L crore under mission
"The government had announced a special economic and comprehensive package of Rs. 29.87 lakh crore under the Abhiyan to combat the impact of pandemic, to revive economic growth, and to bolster employment during 2020-21," she said. The Union Budget 2021-22 announced a number of measures to support broad-based and inclusive economic development including 34.5% increase in capital expenditure and 137% increase in health expenditure.
Relief package of Rs. 6.29L crore was announced in June
Adding to her statement about Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, the Finance Minister informed the parliament that the government announced a relief package of Rs. 6.29 lakh crore in June 2021, to strengthen public health and provide the impetus for growth and employment measures.
Budget estimated GDP growth to be 14.4% for current year
Responding to another question, Sitharaman said, the impact of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to be muted given the localized containment measures and the rapid upscaling of the COVID-19 vaccination drive. The Union Budget for the year 2021-22 estimates India's nominal GDP growth at 14.4% during the current financial year ending March 2022.
RBI projected India's GDP growth at 9.5% for 2021-2022
The Reserve Bank of India, in its latest Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) resolution of June 4, 2021, has projected India's real GDP to grow at 9.5% in 2021-2022, after accounting for the impact of the second wave as compared to its earlier projection of 10.5%.
RBI has announced Rs. 10K crore for Small Finance Banks
Sitharaman said that the RBI has announced Special three-year Long-Term Repo Operations (SLTRO) of Rs. 10,000 crore at repo rate for the Small Finance Banks (SFBs), for fresh lending of up to Rs. 10 lakh per borrower. Its aim is to provide further support to small business units, micro, and small industries, and other unorganized sectors affected during the current wave of the pandemic.
SFBs have availed over Rs. 1.6K crore under SLTRO
"Three auctions under SLTRO have been conducted so far, and SFBs have availed a total amount of Rs. 1,640 crore under the scheme," Sitharaman said. "The unutilized portion of notified Rs. 10,000 crore is being carried forward in each subsequent auction until fully utilized or till the last auction to be conducted in October 2021, whichever is earlier," she said.