Days after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman attributed the slowdown in the auto sector to millennials using Ola and Uber, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal has said that we should not be concerned with GDP maths, since “maths never helped Einstein discover gravity”.
He was speaking to reporters following a meeting with the Board of Trade and sought to instil confidence that the country was on track to meeting the $5 trillion target in five years.
“Don’t go by all these calculations you see on TV, that if the country has to become a $5 trillion economy, it will have to grow at 12% but right now it is currently growing at 6-7%,” Mr. Goyal said. “Don’t get into those maths. Those maths have never helped Einstein discover gravity.”
“If he had only gone by structured formulae and what was past knowledge, I don’t think there would have been any innovation in this world,” Mr. Goyal added.
The Commerce Minister’s statement comes at a time when the Indian economy is growing at a multi-year low rate. The growth rate in the first quarter of the financial year 2019-20 stood at a dismal 5%, the lowest in six years.
A major sector affected by this slowdown has been the auto sector, which has seen sales repeatedly breaching historically low levels. In response to this, Ms. Sitharaman said that the subdued demand was being caused due to BS-VI fuel norms and young people’s preference for ride sharing apps such as Ola and Uber.
“The automobile and components industry has been affected by BS-VI and the mindsets of millennials who now prefer to have Ola and Uber rather than committing to buying an automobile,” Ms. Sitharaman said on Tuesday in Chennai.