Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said that the Centre has not closed the option for another stimulus package and has started doing ‘some kind of’ assessment on gross domestic product (GDP) contraction. Speaking at the launch of a book by NK Singh, Chairperson of the 15th Finance Commission, the Finance Minister said, “We have not closed the option for another stimulus package. We have now started doing some kind of assessment on GDP contraction, we have got some input. We will have to come up with the assessment, whether in parliament or in public.”

Earlier today, Sitharaman held a video conference with Secretaries of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, and Ministry of Coal, along with the chairman and managing directors (CMDs) of 14 central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) belonging to these Ministries, to review the capital expenditure (CAPEX) in this financial year.

The finance ministry said in a statement: “This was 4th in the ongoing series of meetings that the Finance Minister is having with various stakeholders to accelerate the economic growth in the background of COVID-19 pandemic.” The Indian economy is projected to contract by 10.3 per cent this year due to impact of COVID-19 but will rebound with 8.8 per cent growth the following year and regain its position as the fastest-growing emerging economy, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said earlier.

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According to the IMF’s projection, India is projected to regain its position as the fastest-growing emerging market and developing economies in 2021, with 8.8 per cent economic growth, followed by China at 8.2 per cent. It said that the revisions to the forecast are particularly large for India, where the Gross Domestic Production contracted much more severely than expected in the second quarter.

The economic outlook of the developed countries including the United States, Japan and the United Kingdom are also projected to contract by 4.3, 5.3 and 9.8 per cent respectively according to the IMF report.