Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman dodges queries on slowdown

Indian informal sector employment has not been appropriately or exhaustively documented.

Published: 02nd September 2019 08:22 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd September 2019 08:22 AM   |  A+A-

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman during a press meet in New Delhi . (Photo | Shekhar Yadav, EPS)

By Express News Service

KOCHI: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday refused to acknowledge any economic slowdown and job loss in India and was noncommittal on reforms the government might undertake, including reduction of GST rates.

Asked repeatedly if the government thought there was an economic slowdown in the country, Sitharaman, during an interaction with reporters, refused to give a direct answer, stating instead that the government was listening to grievances of every sector.  “We hear them out for solutions that they want and we respond.” On the job losses mentioned in the National Sample Survey Office’s report on employment, she said the BJP-led government, since 2014, had created jobs in the nation’s informal sectors.

ALSO READ | There will not be single job loss due to merger of public sector banks: Nirmala Sitharaman

“Indian informal sector employment has not been appropriately or exhaustively documented. When we refer to data from government organisations such as NSSO, they talk only about the formal sector and not about the informal. In India, nature of our economy being what it is, the informal sector is where majority of our employment is based. If there is stress in respective sectors, I am willing to hear,” she said.

Asked about former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s comment that India was in the midst of a slowdown because of demonetisation and GST, Sitharaman said, “He said it and I heard it.” 

On how long it would take for visible changes in the economy, she said measures taken following the Budget were showing results in the form of banks and non-bank financial companies having better liquidity.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp