India cannot sacrifice economic strength to comply with US sanctions, says finance minister – World

India wants to comply with global sanctions, including US sanctions against Venezuela and Russia, but also needs to maintain its own strength and strategic interests, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in an interview on Tuesday.

The United States imposed the toughest sanctions to date in the Venezuelan oil industry in January. The measure has scared off some global customers, but with few alternative heavy oil suppliers, the Indian refinery Reliance Industries Ltd has been buying Venezuelan crude from the largest Russian Rosneft. The company is ready to resume direct oil charges in the South American nation after a four-month break.

Sitharaman said the Indian government has expressed its opinion to the United States.

"On specific issues that are critical to India's strategic interests, we have explained to the United States that India is a strategic partner for the United States of America and that it wants a strategic partner to be strong and not weaken," said.

"We value the strong partnership with the US, but we should also allow ourselves to be a strong economy."

The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday reduced its outlook for Indian growth in 2019, citing a weaker than expected domestic demand.

According to The Hindu, India's growth projections have been reduced to 6.1 percent in 2019 and 7 percent in 2020, 1.2 percent and 0.5 percentage points in relation to April projections.

The US-China trade war will reduce global growth in 2019 at its slowest pace since the financial crisis of 2008/09, the IMF said.

India's gross domestic product grew at its weakest rate since 2013 between April and June, fueling the expectations of greater stimulus.

"Winds against global […] they are strengthening day by day, "Sitharaman said. When asked about new fiscal stimuli, she said:" I have not closed the door "to that.

New Delhi has been trying to boost internal growth through an infrastructure package and a new loan program organized with the banking sector that has granted loans worth more than $ 11.1 billion, he said.

The finance minister defended the controversial actions of the government in occupied Kashmir in August.

Since the Indian government repealed article 370 of its constitution (stripping Kashmir of its special status), a strict blockade and a communications blackout has silenced the region in silence.

The elimination of the constitutional article that granted special status to the occupied Jammu and Kashmir will boost the region and the country's economic potential, he said.

Human rights groups say that repression is spreading fear among the local population.

For decades before India's recent actions, women, scheduled castes and nomadic tribes were denied human rights in occupied Kashmir, Sitharaman said. "Where was the concern of the human rights of the global community at that time?"

Source: https://www.dawn.com/news/1511156/india-cannot-sacrifice-economic-strength-to-comply-with-us-sanctions-says-finance-minister

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