Credible Signs of Economic Growth In September, Says Finance Ministry amid raging coronavirus

PMI manufacturing, E-way bills and passenger vehicle sales also showed upward movement

The Finance Ministry said on Saturday that credible signs of economic growth emerged in September as the government took various measures, amid the raging coronavirus and resultant lockdowns in the past six months, to bring the economy back on track. The government’s initiatives on both, demand and supply side led to the emergence of green shoots in the economy, the finance ministry said, and asserted that the government is open towards taking measures to further minimise the impact of Covid-19 on the economy.

There has been a rise in business activities in the month of September as the lockdown has been relaxed in a phased manner. The GST collection rose 4 per cent in the month (year-on-year) to Rs 95,480 crore. Rail freight revenue earnings rose 13.5 per cent and power consumption increased by 4.2 per cent during the month.

Other growth indicators such as PMI manufacturing, the index of eight core industries, E-way bills, cargo traffic and passenger vehicle sales also showed upward movement during the month.

The government had unveiled the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) on March 16, 2020 and Aatmnirbhar Bharat Package of Rs 20 lakh crore on May 12, 2020 to mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19 on the economy.

As part of these packages, the government had provided relief measures for households, and cash transfers to senior citizens, widows, disabled, women Jan Dhan Account holders and farmers; insurance coverage for workers in the healthcare sector and wage increase for MGNREGS workers.

The Finance Ministry also introduced relief measures for MSMEs in the form of collateral-free lending with 100 per cent credit guarantees, and eased compliance burden of the taxpayers by extending tax-filing deadlines.

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