India to clock 9% plus growth rate in coming years: Pranab

"With strong macro-economic fundamentals and the resilience shown... by the economy in face of adversities, I am confident that we are headed for a 9 per cent plus growth in the coming years", Mukherjee said while addressing a award function organised by Bloomberg UTV television channel.

Indian economy is expected to record a growth rate of 8.6 per cent in the current fiscal, up from 8 per cent a year ago. The economy was growing by over 9 per cent before the global financial crisis pulled down the growth rate to 6.8 per cent in 2008-09.

Expressing the government's commitment to continue the financial sector reforms, Mukherjee said the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC) would be set up soon to recast financial sector laws.

"It (FSLRC) will help in recasting and reframing the legal framework of the financial sector, making it ready to face the challenges for the coming decades. It is futuristic and will set the stage for the next generation reforms", the Minister said.

The cabinet has already approved the proposal to set up FSLRC under the chairmanship of retired Supreme Court Judge B N Srikrishna, he said, adding, "we have not attempted anything of this type in our history".

The financial sector reforms, which include revamping of direct and indirect tax structures, Mukherjee said, were aimed at making economy more competitive and the regulatory and oversight systems more efficient and sensitive to new developments.

The Minister further said that efforts would be made to encourage stronger disclosure standards for systemically important financial institutions as well as complex financial products.

With regard to tax reforms, he said, the government was in the process of implementing Direct Taxes Code (DTC) and was working on introducing the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

The government has introduced a Constitution Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha to facilitate the implementation of the GST, which "is likely to improve tax collections and boost India's economic development by integrating the Indian market through a uniform tax rates.

"I am confident that together with DTC, this will streamline the tax administration of the country by making it efficient and equitable", he said.

Mukherjee said that Budget 2011-12 has laid down a heavy legislative agenda for the financial sector with as many as seven major bills are to be introduced in Parliament, of which some have already been introduced in the brief session that has just concluded.
He also said there is a need to make participation and investment in markets simpler and friendlier to suit the small investors.

"The small investor should have simple procedures to follow, short forms to be filled in and easy and effective redress, when required. They should not be at the mercy of the big brokerages and intermediaries," he said.

Mukherjee added there is a case for further encouraging the institutional route to investment, like mutual funds, for the retail investors.

"Here also there is much that could be done to make the funds a collective investment vehicle for the common man, not only in the cities but in the villages as well," he said.
Earlier in the day at the convocation ceremony of Sido Kanhu Murmu University in Jharkhand, he said that there is a challenge of strengthening and further building the inclusive character of the society.

"The economy should be able to support productive employment for all those who enter the labour force. The benefits of economic growth have to percolate down effectively to the most marginalised and vulnerable segments of the population," Mukherjee added.

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