Economic activity has started picking up: Piyush Goyal

NEW DELHI, May 29: Commerce and industry Minister Piyush Goyal said that several indicators show that the economic recovery is on the anvil and called upon traders to promote local goods.
Addressing representatives of traders associations, via video conferencing on Thursday, Mr Goyal the power consumption this month is almost at par with the corresponding period last year, Oxygen production has come up.
”The Exports, which went down in April by almost 60 per cent, have started showing upward trend, and the preliminary figures indicate decline this month will be smaller. The Services exports, on the other hand, went up even the last month,” he said.

He indicated that more than the fall in merchandise exports, the imports showed sharper decline last month, lowering the trade deficit.

Regarding some of the hardships being faced by the Retail traders even after the relaxations of the guidelines, the Minister said that a majority of shops have been allowed to be opened, without any distinction of essential and non-essential.
The decision to open the remaining shops in the malls, will be taken soon, after taking into account the guidelines of the Health Ministry.
Mr Goyal told the retail traders not to feel threatened by the e-commerce juggernaut, as the Common person has now realized that the Brick and Mortar kirana neighbourhood shopkeepers only helped them in their hour of crisis.

He said that during the lockdown period, the nation geared itself to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and built capacities. The domestic manufacturing of the protection equipment like masks, sanitizers, gloves, PPE got a boost, health infrastructure was scaled up, and awareness was generated among the people.
Mr Goyal said that people responded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to work unitedly to face the unprecedented crisis, by adhering to the Government’s guidelines and directions. Aarogya Setu has been developed during the period, which acts as a shield, friend and messenger in such crisis, he maintained.

He said, Timely and correct decisions taken by the Prime Minister, and adhered to by the people, have helped the country, as we are in a better position compared to many other nations of the world, with more resources and lesser population”.

Aatmanirbhar package announced by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to fight Covid-19 provided for Rs 3 lakh crore credit guarantee for MSME, and it also covers trader, he said, adding that the changes made in the definition of the MSME sector will also help them.

The Finance Minister,he said, has also indicated that she has an open mind on finding solutions for the problems that may have remained unresolved.

He said that the Government is working on mechanism to facilitate B2B for the retail traders and providing technical support to them to expand their reach.

The Minister said that under Prime Minister Modi, the Government has taken transformational initiatives, which will help India become a strong nation.

Regarding other problems of the trader community pertaining to term loans, Mudra loans and other issues, Mr Goyal said that the matter will be taken up with the finance ministry to find a solution.

The Minister said that during the last two months, the government has taken measures to ameliorate the hardships of the traders and Indian manufacturers, and in future also, will support them. The Minister exhorted them to work with confidence, boldness and determination, and the success will be there to achieve. (UNI)