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Agriculture will lead India’s economic revival from coronavirus pandemic – finance minister

Agriculture will lead India’s economic revival from coronavirus pandemic – finance minister
Asia’s third-largest economy, India, is well-positioned for a strong recovery on the back of farming and allied industries that are boosting the rural sector, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said.

Talking at the online summit organized by the US-India Business Council, she said the government is closely monitoring the economy and is open to further interventions if needed. India is opening up all its sectors to investment, and keeping public sector presence minimal, mandatory only in predetermined, strategic sectors, the minister added.

“We have kept all the options necessary absolutely open… interventions can happen even in the future. Many of the measures announced earlier are yielding results now,” Sitharaman said as quoted by the Economic Times.

She also pointed to higher power consumption, toll collections, digital banking transactions and improvements in the purchase managers’ index (PMI). According to Sitharaman, businesses are also gaining traction as a result of the economic stimulus package, also known as the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.

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Activities related to the rural economy, including tractor sales, agricultural tool sales and logistics related to the food sector among others, were “all up and about,” said the minister.

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Sitharaman noted that close synchronization among the financial sector, regulators and monitoring of indicators could drive the recovery trend. “If they all work together, very good strong recovery is only there for us,” the minister said, adding: “I can see the revival of the economy, particularly if you look at India’s rural areas [and] agriculture.”

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