Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has said that India is impacted to some extent by the global economic slowdown but expressed confidence that the country will come out of the difficult situation within a short time. Singh, who arrived in the US on Monday for the 2019 US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in Washington DC on December 18, addressed members of the Indian community at educational organisation Asia Society here at an event organised by the Consulate General of India.
He said currently the world over, there is a talk of a global economic slowdown. “I also accept that there is global economic slowdown and India is also impacted by it to some extent. But I can say with full confidence that India will come out of this difficult situation in only few months’ time,” Singh said. Singh said this was not a matter of big concern for India because the government has taken several major steps and announced economic packages to boost economic growth.
“We can face and tackle the global economic slowdown only by increasing consumer demand,” he said, adding that the government has taken several structural and procedural reforms whose impact is now visible. “Despite the global economic recession, India has not been impacted because as compared to other countries, India’s consumer demand is comparatively better. We will definitely come out of this difficult situation,” he said. India’s GDP growth slowed for the sixth consecutive quarter in the July-September quarter to 4.5 per cent as manufacturing slumped on low domestic consumption.
Singh further said that this is not the first time that India is getting affected by the global economic slowdown. During the Congress government, Manmohan Singh was Prime Minister, then also India was impacted by the global economic slowdown, as well as during former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s time. He stressed that the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a decisive government and “no one can put a question mark on Prime Minister Modi’s decisiveness.” Singh outlined the major measures and initiatives taken by the Modi government to provide basic needs to people of India, including providing homes, building toilets to end open defecation, electricity, cooking gas and focusing on infrastructure development
On the abrogation of Article 370 to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, he said the BJP government has done what it had promised in 1951. “In independent India, the biggest crisis in Indian politics has been that there has been a difference in the words and deeds of a politician.” He said political parties used to write a lot of things in their election manifesto but those never used to be fulfilled after the parties came into power. “Because there was a difference between the words and deeds of politicians, this lead to a crisis of credibility towards the politics, politicians in India. I can say with confidence that the BJP accepted this challenge of crisis of credibility. We have done what we said.”
In response to a question on the Sikh community, Singh said India will never be able to forget the contributions of the Sikh community. “No one has given the kind of sacrifices that the Sikh community has made to protect the culture of India.” US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper will host Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar and Singh on December 18 for the second 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue.