Minister heckled as delayed effect of DeMo blamed for slowdown

New Delhi: In a minor heckling, Union Minister Anurag Thakur on Friday was confronted at the industry event here with allegation that government’s demonetisation exercise was to blame for the current slowdown that has impacted the economy.

Speaking at the ACMA (Automobile Components Manufacturers Association) annual convention here on Friday, Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur asked the industry to introspect the reasons for the slowdown despite the government’s recent announcements to address the concerns raised by the industry and the fact that heavy discounting was taking place.

“Couple of things which I want to understand, for example if there is reduction in the interest rates after the RBI announcements; you are also giving discounts; many other initiatives have been taken by the Central government, then why are we still not seeing the same kind of demand in the automobile industry?” Thakur asked.

“Is the demand coming down globally? or is it coming down locally? … or is it just cyclical?”

The minister’s question provoked mild heckling, as someone from the convention replied that slowdown is the delayed impact of demonetisation.

To this, the minister thanked the heckler and resumed his address to the convention.

He said that the government is listening to the industry and at the same time taking quick policy decisions to address the concerns raised by various sectors.

Interestingly, Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, Arjun Ram Meghwal, who also attended the event said economic reforms such as demonetisation and GST led to India becoming a $3 trillion economy under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He also termed the auto industry’s problems as minor which will soon be tackled.

According to Meghwal, when the government can extend the Parliament session to remove (abrogate) an “evil thing” such as Article 370, then auto sector’s woes are minor and will be settled very soon as the Centre is aiming to make India a $5 trillion economy.

He said “all will be tackled and settled, you don’t worry,” he added.