Arun Jaitley pitches for continuing reforms to achieve higher growth

14 May, New Delhi

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said India can achieve even better growth rate if there is a favourable monsoon this year.

In an exclusive interview to All India Radio, he said India can achieve its potential if the government continues its reforms, world starts growing faster, and oil and commodity prices remain at moderate level. The Minister said reform process must continue to maintain credibility.

On Goods and Services Tax Bill, Jaitley said it has been a testing proposition as far as reforms are concerned. He said Congress’ opposition to GST Bill is political. Saying that he is trying his best to make Congress come around, Jaitley said the Bill will be put to vote in next Parliament session even if Congress continues to oppose it.

Replying to a question on Direct Benefit Transfer scheme, the Minister said government is not cutting subsidies but rationalising them. He elaborated that the objective of the government is to ensure that the subsidies reach the poor. Saying that DBT was successfully implemented in LPG distribution, he informed that it is being tried in other areas like fertiliser and food.

Speaking on job creation, the Minister acknowledged that jobs are being created in start ups and IT sector, but impressed that it is manufacturing sector which can create more jobs. He said within manufacturing sector, textile and clothing are job creators.

Replying to a question on ease of doing business, Jaitley said the reforms ushered in last year had brought us up in global rankings.

Observing that the reforms process has continued this year, he said the enactment of the Bankrupcy Law will lead to upward movement regarding India’s ranking. But he also noted that the most important area affecting India’s ranking is the construction, building and real estate sector. He said these reforms have to take place at the level of states.

Jaitley also said government has taken number of initiatives to boost country’s growth, such as concentrating on rural areas, liberalising economy, and removing discretions and wasteful subsidies.

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