Centre’s priority is to tame inflation: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman

NEW DELHI: Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said that taming inflation to ensure sustained economic growth is the Centre’s “priority”.
She was addressing the B20 Summit India, being hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
During her speech, the minister said that elevated interest rates for considerable time hampers recovery, adding that her “priority is to tame inflation.”
“Obsession to use interest rates as the only tool to deal with inflation and not manage the supply side factors will not give a complete solution,” Sitharaman said.
Annual retail inflation in July rose to its highest in 15 months as vegetable and cereals prices skyrocketed, beating all market expectations and putting pressure on the government to take action.

The finance minister said that the GDP numbers for the first quarter, which will be released this month, “should be good”.
On growth, she said that India has been able to accelerate the pace of economic reforms and the first quarter GDP numbers “should be good.”
The National Statistical Office is scheduled to release the GDP numbers for the first quarter on August 31.
Sitharaman said that “green shoots” of private capital expenditure can be felt on back of the government’s push for capital expenditure in the budget.
The minister said that India’s free trade agreement with UK will be finalised soon and that talks are on for a similar pact with Canada in the future.
She also spoke about climate financing and reforms being undertaken by the government to attract foreign investments as they are vital for economic growth.
(With inputs from agencies)Watch Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman highlights sustained global economic recovery at B20 Summit India

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