Sitharaman blames millennials for slowdown, twitter breaks into laughter

Daniel Fowler
September 11, 2019

Last month, the sector recorded the worst decline since 1997-98, data put out by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) showed. The finance minister was addressing a press conference on "100 days of bold initiatives and decisive actions taken by the government". The industry saw a 12.25% decline in production in April-August 2019 compared to past year.

Automobile sales witnessed its worst-ever drop in August across categories, with passenger auto sales falling by as much as 41.09 per cent, according to data released by industry body SIAM.

When asked about the slowdown in auto sector, which is said to be the worst in almost two decades, the finance minister said, "It is true that the automobile sector in India had a good time till two years ago, there was definitely a good upward trajectory for automobile sector".

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the "millennial mindset" of relying on taxi services, besides the upcoming stricter emission norms, are responsible for the auto sector slowdown.

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Earlier today, Sitharaman had stated that the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken landmark steps in its second term for India to emerge as a five trillion-dollar economy in the next five years amid a domestic and global slowdown. Vehicle sales across categories registered a decline of 23.55 per cent to 1,821,490 units from 2,382,436 units in August 2018, it added. Also she lifted the ban on purchase of vehicles by government departments and allowed additional 15 per cent depreciation on vehicles acquired till March 2020.

Finance MinisterNirmalaSitharaman today shrugged off questions on the GDP growth declining to 5 per cent in the first quarter, saying the ups and down are part of the growth process and the government is responding to the current economic challenges to revive demand and consumption in the country.

Responding to the criticism of the government accessing the accumulated reserves of the Reserve Bank of India, she said it had been accessed by the governments in the past too.

On the dip in GDP growth, she said, "I am not underestimating it or sitting here without responding to do something to boost it to grow better". The banks will benefit from each other's strength.A growing economy needs good banks.

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