Sitharaman's press conference will be held at 2.30 PM at National Media Centre in the capital. The announcement was made by the Press Information Bureau (PIB) on its Twitter account. The subject of the press conference was, however, not revealed except that she will "announce important decisions of the government."
This comes four days after the auto industry revealed the sales figures for August, announcing that domestic passenger vehicle sales skidded for the 10th consecutive month, registering a 31.57% decline. Domestic car sales were down 41.09 per cent to 115,957 units compared to 196,847 units in August 2018, according to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) on Monday. Motorcycle sales last month declined 22.33 per cent to 937,486 units as against 1,207,005 units a year earlier.
In her first public remarks after the data was released, Ms Sitharaman blamed "millennial mindset" of using app-based cab services for the decline in car sales.
When peppered with questions on the slowdown in the auto sector, Sitharaman on Tuesday said, “It is true that the automobile sector in India had a good time till two years ago, there was definitely a good upward trajectory for automobile sector. The automobile sector is affected by a range of issues such as rollout of Bharat Stage VI emission standard, higher registration fee, the mindset of millennials who prefer to use ride-hailing services such as Ola and Uber over committing to an EMI for purchasing a vehicle, besides the use of public transport such as metro.”
Speaking on the GDP that is hovering around five percent and the scenario that led to this, she said, "The concerns which industries have, we are speaking to them. The GDP growth rate is at five percent in one quarter, we won’t compare it with earlier times. Dips and rise in GDP growth do happen, but we are not sitting without responding to boost it. Our full focus now is on how it will rise."
In the last press conference to announce "important decisions" on August 30 she had unveiled the government's plan for the mega-merger of Public Sector Banks (PSBs).
Sitharaman announced that 10 state-run banks will be merged into four larger PSBs. After the consolidation of these banks, India will have 12 Public Sector Banks.
Banks part of the merger process are: Punjab National Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, United Bank, Canara Bank, Syndicate Bank, Union Bank of India, Andhra Bank, Corporation Bank, Indian Bank and Allahabad Bank.