New Delhi, May 22, 2015
Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the country was poised to clock double digit growth thanks to speedy decision making and creation of a business friendly environment during the one year of the Narendra Modi government.
To highlight the first anniversary of the Modi government, Jaitley held well-attended press conferences where he tried to drive home the fact that the because the Central Government has been corruption free, it has restored the faith of international investment community and generated hope about India’s economic recovery…
“As far as the economic situation of the country is concerned, a year ago there was an environment of pessimism. There was a general environment of gloom. In its place, an environment of enthusiasm has been created,”
– Arun Jaitley
Asserting that India has the potential to touch a double digit growth, he said the country must grab the opportunity. “There are economies in the world which we are not doing so well. You can be a natural recipient of a lot of international investments,” he said.
Taking a potshot at the Opposition party for blocking several key legislation in the Upper house of parliament, Jaitley said, “When we obstruct, we must realize that it is eventually in that journey to 10% that we are obstructing. The principal opposition party has positioned itself against growth and development. They must reconsider their position in terms of the damage that they can do,” he said.
Jaitley said the government’s decision making has to be quick and fast. “Therefore if it takes us from 2003 to 2014 to pass the insurance laws, if it takes us from 2006 to 2015 to decide whether Goods and Services Tax Bill (GST) comes in, we don’t send the best signals globally.”
Claiming that the country’s atmosphere has changed from environment of gloom to environment of enthusiasm, he said this as reflected by the fact that the economy is set to achieve a growth at 7.5-8% in 2015. “With that also there is restlessness that why is it not growing faster, the restlessness to grow even faster, which is the real potential of India.”
Jaitley said the government was taking difficult decisions and was determined to act firmly where needed. “Decisiveness, even in the face of obstructionism, has been an important hallmark as far as this government is concerned,” he said.
“Today country is not ready to accept slow pace of decision making. So, along with decisiveness, decision making should have a pace and speed,” he said, adding, “In the past one year there is no confusion as to the direction. There is absolute clarity with regard to the direction in which the government wants to go. And that direction is pro growth and development.”
Asserting that the Government is taking quick decision to augment growth and revive the economy, Jaitley said, “The result is there is openness in economic development. Country is getting investment. There is a need to ensure ease of doing business and expansion of economic activity.
“There is transparency in decision making. Whatever decisions we have taken, ministerial discretions have ended. Decisions are taken not based on individuals but on principles which do not ensure benefit to any individual,” he said.
On the vexed issue of taxation, which has been a key concerns of foreign investors, Jaitley said the government’s position was determined to simply the tax structure, and informed that he has directed the revenue department from going ahead with the new Income Tax Return (ITR) forms which sought additional information with regard to bank accounts and foreign visits.