No plan to print currency notes to tide over crisis: FM Sitharaman
New Delhi: Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Monday that the government has no plan to print currency notes to tide over the current economic crisis triggered by the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
To a question on whether there is any plan to print currency to tide over the crisis, the Finance Minister said, “No Sir”.
She said that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracted by approximately 7.3 per cent during 2020-21, but added that the fundamentals of the economy remain strong.
“The fundamentals of the economy remain strong as gradual scaling back of lockdowns, along with the astute support of Atmanirbhar Bharat Mission has placed the economy firmly on the path of recovery from the second half of FY 2020-21,” said Sitharaman.
Many economists and experts have suggested to the government to print more currency notes to tide over the difficult economic situation with a view to support the economy ravaged by the spread of COVID-19, and protect jobs.
The government had announced a special economic and comprehensive package of Rs 29.87 lakh crore under AtmaNirbhar Bharat (ANB) to combat the impact of the pandemic, to revive economic growth and to bolster employment during 2020-21, she said.
The Union Budget 2021-22 announced a number of measures to support broad-based and inclusive economic development including a 34.5 per cent increase in capital expenditure and 137 per cent increase in health expenditure, she said, adding, the government announced a relief package of Rs 6.29 lakh crore in June 2021, to strengthen public health and provide impetus for growth and employment measures.
Replying to another question, Sitharaman said, the impact of the second COVID-19 wave is expected to be muted given localised containment measures and rapid upscaling of the vaccination drive. The Union Budget 2021-22, estimates India’s nominal GDP growth at 14.4 per cent during the current financial year ending March 2022.