Compliance with US sanctions hurting India's economy: FM

India’s economy has been constrained by its compliance with unending US sanctions on India’s trade partners, including Venezuela, Russia, China, Iran and other countries, which has sapped India’s economic strength, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in an interview on Tuesday.

She was addressing a meeting of the central board of the Reserve Bank of India in New Delhi.
Sitaraman said, while India values its strategic partnership with the United States, the country also needs to maintain its own strength and strategic interests. 
She said the Indian government has expressed its view to the United States.
“In specific issues which are critical for India’s strategic interests, we have explained to the United States that India is a strategic partner for the United States of America and you want a strategic partner to be strong and not weakened,” she said.
“We value the strong partnership with the USA, but we should equally be allowed to be a strong economy.”
The US in January imposed tough sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry, which scared away some global customers, but with few alternative suppliers of heavy oil, Indian refiner Reliance Industries Ltd has been buying Venezuelan crude from Russian major Rosneft. 
RIL is set to resume direct oil loadings in the South American nation after a four-month pause.
In the 2019-20 fiscal, the Indian economy grew at the slowest pace since the2008-09 global financial crisis. The International Monetary Fund has now lowered its outlook for India’s growth in 2019-20, citing weaker-than-expected domestic demand and sluggish trade.
India’s overall exports (merchandise and services combined) in April-September 2019-20 are estimated to be around $267.21 billion, showing a growth of 1.93 per cent over the same period last year. Overall imports in April-September 2019-20 are estimated to be $312.16 billion, showing a negative growth of 3.15 per cent over the same period last year.
“Global headwinds ... are getting stronger by the day,” Sitharaman said. Asked about further fiscal stimulus, she said: “I have not closed the door” on that.
New Delhi has been trying to boost domestic growth through an infrastructure package and a new loan programme organised with the banking sector that has doled out loans worth over Rs80,000 crore, she said.