India's economic growth may have slowed but there was no recession and there would not be one in future, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
"Economic growth may have come down but there is no recession; there will be no recession," Sitharaman said during a discussion on the economic situation of the country.
"Lagged effect of twin balance sheet crisis faced by banks resulted in GDP falling in the last two financial years," she said.
The Finance Minister said India's real GDP growth was at 6.4% at the end of 2009-2014, whereas, between 2014-2019 it was at 7.5%.
She reeled out numbers comparing the five years under the Congress-led UPA-II regime(2009 -2014) and BJP's first term (2014-2019) to say inflation was lower and growth was higher under Modi government.
FDI inflows in 2009-14 were USD 189.5 billion and the same were USD 283.9 billion under BJP rule in the following five years, she said. Foreign exchange reserves also rose to USD 412.6 billion under BJP from USD 304.2 billion under UPA-II, she added.
"32 steps taken to revive growth in the economy are bearing fruits," she said.
"Around Rs 2.5 crores was distributed through PSBs. How was that possible without liquidity?," the Finance Minister asked referring to loan outreach programmes.
"This was possible because we have recapitalised banks," she said, adding that Rs 70,000 Cr was allotted in the budget for capital infusion in banks and it has been resulting in a rise in liquidity.
The Congress staged a walkout during the reply given by Sitharaman on the state of the economy.
Earlier in the day, Congress MP Anand Sharma, while initiating a short-term discussion on the economic situation in the country, said the current slowdown could not be labelled as a cyclical phenomenon.
"In the last few years, the economy has suffered. Industry has gone down and people do not even have money to buy day-to-day articles. The situation in the rural regions is even worse," he said.
Sharma said the gap between the rich and poor has widened in the country in the past few years and wrong decisions of the government like demonetisation and hasty implementation of GST have led to the present slowdown.
Commenting on PSU sell-offs, he said the country created such institutions over the last 70 years and now the government was selling these profit-making companies.
Countering opposition's charges, BJP's Aswini Vaishnaw termed the current situation a cyclical slowdown.
"It is not a structural thing and will bottom out by March and it will be followed by strong growth," he said.
(With inputs from PTI)