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Inflation expected to remain in prescribed range: Finance Minister

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Inflation expected to remain in prescribed range: Finance Minister
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New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the government expects inflation to remain in the prescribed range during the current fiscal year. She added that the government has taken various efforts to keep inflation benign.

Sitharaman told the media that the states have been very cooperative in terms of going after hoarders and black marketeers. She added that the Group of Ministers is regularly and actively monitoring the price movement of essential items like edible oil, pulses, fruits and vegetables, and meat.

The finance minister expressed confidence that the revenue would be buoyant in the coming months and both GST and direct taxes have improved in the past few months. She added that there is enough liquidity in the market and credit growth is expected to pick up in the next festive season.

"The GST collection this year has improved substantially and as a result, there are chances that the government may be able to pay compensation to states from revenue collected," said the minister. She added that the GST council will decide about extending compensation beyond July 2022.

She is also set to meet the heads of public sector banks next week and review the progress made on the implementation of various schemes announced by the government, including the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS).

The credit growth of scheduled commercial banks has remained positive for 2020-2021 despite the contraction in GDP due to the pandemic. Gross loans and advances outstanding of SCBs increased from Rs 109.19 lakh crore as of March 31, 2020, to Rs 113.99 lakh crore as of March 31, 2021.

Agriculture and allied activities, micro, small and medium enterprises, housing, and auto have witnessed a year-on-year growth of 12.3%, 8.5%, 9.1%, and 9.5%.

The government had informed the Parliament recently that NPAs have declined to Rs 7,39,541 crore on March 31, 2019, Rs 6,78,317 crore on March 31, 2020, and further to Rs 6,16,616 crore as of March 31, 2021, due to the government's strategy of recognition, resolution, recapitalisation, and reforms.

"PSBs have managed to raise a record Rs 58,700 crore from markets in 2020-21 through a mix of debt and equity to enhance capital base. As a result, the capital to risk-weighted assets ratio rose to 14.04% as of March 31, 2021, as against a regulatory requirement of 10.875% boosting the ability of PSBs to further increase lending. PSBs in aggregate recorded a profit of Rs 31,816 crore, the highest in five years, despite 7.3% contraction in the economy in 2020-21," said the finance minister.

When asked about Commerce and Industry Minister PiyushGoyal's comment about business practices of Indian industry being against national interests, NirmalaSitharaman said that his intention is wanting "to appeal to the industry to also help small industry."

Sitharaman did not comment on the Indian investment in Afghanistan and said that it is too early to say anything.

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TAGS:Finance Minister Inflation GST 
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