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Finance Minister Sitharaman announces proposals to stimulate consumer demand

Finance Minister Sitharaman announces proposals to stimulate consumer demand

New Delhi [India], October 12 (ANI): Trying to give a boost to the plummeting economy, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday announced two proposals — Leave Travel Concession (LTC) Cash Voucher Scheme and Special Festival Advance Scheme — to stimulate consumer demand.

This comes a few hours ahead of the crucial 43rd Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council meeting to be chaired by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

The Finance Minister is addressing at a time when the country’s GDP had contracted 23.9 per cent during the April-June quarter. This quarter took the hardest hit of coronavirus-induced lockdown across the country. The Reserve Bank of India has predicted that the whole financial year’s GDP would shrink 9.5 per cent in the current fiscal.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected the economy. The needs of the poor and weaker sections were addressed in various announcements by the government. Supply constraints have somewhat got eased but consumer demand still needs to be given a boost,” Sitharaman said during a press conference.

“The proposals being presented are designed in a way that they can stimulate demand by front-loading/advancing some of the expenditure with some offsetting changes. Others are directly linked to an increase in the GDP,” she explained.

Sitharaman said there are indications that savings of government and organised sector employees have increased, “We want to incentivise such people to boost demand for the benefit of the less fortunate. We are presenting two proposals — the Leave Travel Concession (LTC) Cash Voucher Scheme and Special Festival Advance Scheme — to stimulate consumer spending.”

Finance Minister said under the LTC Cash Voucher Scheme, government employees can opt to receive cash amounting to leave encashment plus three times ticket fare, to buy items, which attract GST of 12 per cent or more. “Only digital transactions

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