Govt committed to reforms, says finance minister

Govt committed to reforms, says finance minister

Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee with OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria at the high seminar on ‘Adapting Tax Systems and International Tax Rules to the New Global Environment- A Shared Challenge for India and the OECD’ in New Delhi on Monday. PTI

Dismissing fears of a slowdown, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, on Monday, said India’s growth drivers are intact and the Centre is committed to policy reforms.

“Though there is some slowdown in industrial growth, partly due to the base effect from the previous year, the growth drivers of the Indian economy remain broadly intact,” Mukherjee said at a seminar organised by his ministry and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD).

Factory output slowed down to 6.3 per cent (vis-a-vis a 2004-05 base) in April, 2011, from 13.1 per cent in the corresponding month of the previous year. Mukherjee said the medium-term growth prospects for the economy remain buoyant.

“I am confident that we are in a position to sustain high economic growth in the coming years and create a more inclusive outcome of our society,” he said. India aims to grow at 9-9.5 per cent during the XIIth Five-Year Plan, starting April, 2012. “It would imply raising the average growth rate by at least one percentage point from 8.2 per cent, likely to be realised in the XIth Plan,” he said. Mukherjee further said that the government was committed to policy reforms.

“Major steps have been taken to simplify and place the administrative procedures concerning taxation, trade and traffic and social transfers on electronic interface, free of discretion and bureaucratic delays,” he said.

The Direct Taxes Code (DTC) is scheduled to become operational from April 1, 2012, while a constitutional amendment bill on Goods and Services Tax (GST) was introduced in Parliament earlier this year.

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