Finance Minister sees GDP growth in negative zone or near zero in current fiscal

NEW DELHI: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said there were visible signs of revival in the economy but the GDP growth may be in negative zone or near zero in the current fiscal.
This is primarily because of a huge 23.9 per cent contraction in the economy in the first quarter of current fiscal (April-June), she added.
Speaking at the India Energy Forum of CERAWeek, she said there was a “very firm lockdown” imposed beginning March 25 as the government put lives before livelihood.
The lockdown also gave time to do preparatory work to deal with the pandemic. But with unlock, macroeconomic indicators have shown signs of revival, she said. Festive season will further spur the economy, rekindling hopes of positive growth in third and fourth quarters.
Overall, the GDP growth current fiscal (April 2020 to March 2021) will be in the negative zone or near zero, she said, adding the growth will revive from the next fiscal.
The focus for the government is on public spending to boost economic activity, Sitharaman added.

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