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'Benefits of PSB mergers likely over medium-to-long term'Chennai, Sep 10 (IANS) Noting the many steps taken recently to boost the economy , Finance Miniser Nirmala SItharaman on Tuesday said the government will “front-load”, or expedite, infrastructure spending to boost consumption and try to improve the GDP numbers in the second quarter following the dismal showing in the first one.

Speaking on the 100 days’ achievements of the Narendra Modi 2.0 government, Sitharaman also said it has taken into considerations the suggestions of the auto industry currently going througha major sales downturn.

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“We have full focus now on how GDP can rise in the next quarter . A dip in GDP is part of growth .We will try to front-load infrastructure spending as much as possible”, she said here.

While the auto industry has been demanding a reduction in GST rates, decisions on rate cuts are only in the domain of the GST Council, she added.

The Finance Minister also said the government will respond soon to the demands of home buyers.

“Government response on home buyers will be sooner than later”, she said.

On the falling GST revenues, Sitaharaman said collections need more attention and the government needs to widen the tax basket

On the recently announced bank mergers, she said the effective dates of mergers are to be decided by the individual bank boards.

“Banks grappling with low credit offtake. We are taking steps to boost consumer confidence in the market,” she said.

She also said the government has provided 8 crore gas connections to rural people under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana and has created wage code to ensure equal employment opportunities for women.

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