NEW DELHI: A positive message is being conveyed by the spate of economic data pointing to a rebound, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Monday, but asserted that sustaining the numbers in the months ahead will lend certainty to the recovery.
“All this gives the hope that it is sustaining, but, on a note of caution, I will still say I wish sooner we can get on firmer ground and talk with a lot more certainty,” Sitharaman told TOI in an interview.
While the minister acknowledged that inflation is always a concern, she said the smallest of supply disruptions accentuates the problem. “Only systemic reforms, better storage, better preservation of perishable goods can help, on which we are working.”
Asked about her priorities for the next Budget, the FM said focus on infrastructure and reforms will be among the key issues.
Sitharaman said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with top global investors on Thursday will serve as a major catalytic point. “Once money goes into infrastructure, it has a very strong multiplier in boosting the economy,” Sitharaman said while detailing that investors can choose from 7,000 projects identified under the National Infrastructure Pipeline.
Modi’s top advisers and experts have suggested that focus on ramping up infrastructure can spur economic activity.
She also said that Indian businesses were resetting their business models amid the Covid-19 pandemic and have realised that competitiveness could help open more doors to global markets, where some companies had vacated space.