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Finance Minister Calls For Reducing Import Dependency

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Finance Minister Calls For Reducing Import Dependency

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has called for reduction of dependence on imports

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has emphasised on the need to become more self reliant and reduce dependency on imported goods, especially essential commodities, which had increased after the Coronavirus pandemic had hit supplies.

Addressing a summit organised by industry body CII on Wednesday, the finance minister said that though the country wants to be linked with global value chains, the risks they pose need to be acknowledged.

Though testing kits and protective equipments related to the pandemic were imported in the country during the initial phases of the pandemic, there is a need to develop manufacturing infrastructure to reduce dependency in future, the minister noted during her address.

On the economy, Ms Sitharaman said that its resilience could be gauged from the fact that it has recovered sharply after the pandemic.

She added that despite the pandemic, Indian economy is still among the fastest growing economies globally.

Auto sales, which is among the major indicators of growing economic activities, though are down. This, Ms Sitharaman attributed to the semiconductor shortage.

“Auto sales in India would have also been good if it had not been for the semiconductor shortage and shipping container shortage,” she said.

The finance minister further noted that infrastructure spending is a key area and all government departments are focussed on it.

Touching upon the energy sector, the minister said that there is a need to focus on natural gas as a transitional fuel. Though at the same time she said that “despite government’s commitment towards to the use of natural gas as a transitional fuel, high global crude oil prices present a challenge for India to import more natural gas”.

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