Hopeful growth will be better in H2: Finance Minister

New Delhi, Nov 15 (IANS): Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said it was too early to say if the slowdown in the economy had bottomed out but she hopes the growth in second half of the fiscal will be better.

The Minister also said companies are planning new investments as a response to corporate tax cuts announced in September.

Asked if she expected the growth to be better in the second half, she said: "I may not be able to predict about it, but I am hopeful that it will be better."

The GDP growth for Q2 is expected towards the end of this month and a recent SBI report said it could be at 4.2 per cent -- lower than the current 5 per cent of Q1.

At a media interaction here on Friday, Sitharaman said that actual investments may take some time to materialise but there are considerations by corporates.

"Actual investments may take some time to materialise. Three cities with four projects have been identified for relief under Real Estate Fund," she said.

On the liquidity extensions to the NBFCs, she said PSU banks have given funds to the AAA-rated NBFCs but AA-rated NBFCs have met her on their funds issues.

"I have sought details from RBI and PSU Banks on funds given to investment grade NBFCs (which are not AAA) and top 50 NBGCs were engaged with banks for disbursal of funds. Government has launched several steps since August to revive economic growth from the weakest pace..."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has unveiled several steps since August to revive economic growth from the weakest pace now touching 5 per cent, a 16-year low.


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