Modi Hits Back At Opposition, Says Economic Slowdown Not A First

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(FE)

Facing the Opposition’s criticism over economic growth hitting a three-year low in the first quarter, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit back on Wednesday, sticking to his view that demonetisation yielded rich dividends, but said the troubles faced by small businesses from the goods and services tax (GST) would be addressed with an open mind. Stating that economic expansion hasn’t dropped to 5.7% for the first time, he said the government will continue with the reforms process, keeping financial stability in mind.

Asserting that the fundamentals of the economy remain strong, the prime minister said the government added over 19 lakh new taxpayers after the GST was implemented and also brought down the cash-to-GDP ratio to 9% now from 12% before demonetisation, which would discourage cash transactions. Even the registration of 2.1 lakh companies out of 3 lakh suspicious (shell) firms identified after the note ban has been cancelled.

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