At HTLS 2020, Sitharaman discusses economic recovery, Covid-19 impact and more: Highlights
“Recovery is there - some say patchy - but it has been happening in the last 2 months,” Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman told Hindustan Times’ editor-in-chief Sukumar Ranganathan on Friday in the opening session of day 6 of the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit (HTLS) 2020. In a wide-ranging interaction, Sitharaman commented on the country’s economic recovery, the upcoming budget and more on the economic and fiscal aspects of various industries amid the pandemic.
“We are certainly in a different environment now compared to when I had given the budget,” she said, adding that “every sector is showing a clear indication that recovery is happening”.
Here are the key highlights of the finance minister’s session at HT’s virtual summit:
• Post budget in February 2020, not just India, globally we saw unexplainable challenges.
• Inflation on food prices will not continue. It can be attributed to seasonal fluctuation.
• With periodic intervention from government, blip in inflation will ease out
• Whichever Covid-19 vaccine gets cleared, we need to know the cost per dose and other details before allocating funds for it.
• We don’t know details of the Covid-19 vaccine. Will it be one dose or two-dose? Or will there be recurrent doses? Unless we get these details, how much per dose will cost, we can’t say about vaccine’s budgetary provision.
• Many industrial leaders are looking at capacity expansion, not just in one unit but across the country.
• We are certainly in a different environment now compared to when I had given the budget.
• Expansion in capacity cannot happen without investment from private sector.
• Not sure if pent up demand or festival demand will explain more than 1 lakh crore GST collection for 2 consecutive months.
Besides Sitharaman, the day will also see YOOX Net-a-Porter Group’s Federico Marchetti and David Andrew Sinclair, professor of genetics and co-director of the Paul F Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging Research at Harvard Medical School at the virtual summit.
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Walmart Inc’s CEO Doug McMillion, Deloitte global CEO Punit Renjen and Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee will take part on the seventh day of the summit next week while the final day will see US senator Mark Warner, Vikram Patel, a professor of global health at Harvard Medical School, actor Priyanka Chopra Jonas and singer Nick Jonas as participants.
Singer-songwriter Prateek Kuhad will perform at the closing concert next Friday.