FM gives one-year account of government, pats his back

FM gives one-year account of government, pats his back

FM gives one-year account of government, pats his back

 After two major economic reforms bills — land acquisition and GST — were held up in the Rajya Sabha, forcing the government to take the parliamentary committee route, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday defended his government on the move.

“I do believe that the road map that we have now developed of sending it to the joint committee is probably the fastest route to get the land bill approved,” he told mediapersons here.

A roadblock for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill implies that the government may not be able to meet the April 1, 2016, deadline. But Jaitley said that the government was prepared to work overtime to bring it next year and that he had not yet given up on hope.

Talking to reporters ahead of NDA government’s one year in the office, Jaitley said the government took various measures on increasing foreign investment in India and spent on social sector schemes. He, however, said that the infrastructure and a pick up in manufacturing remained a challenge for the government going forward. FDI in India grew by about 40 per cent year-on-year to Rs 1.76 lakh crore in 2014-15, he said.

In 2013-14, the country had attracted Rs 1.26 lakh crore FDI. The Finance Minister said that the economy was in a recovery stage, inflation was under control, growth appeared to be much better, fiscal deficit, Current Account Deficit (CAD), etc. appeared to be under control.

Jaitley also took pride on the services sector expanding in NDA’s regime and infrastructure spending increasing.

He said that most of the laws that aim to improve the management of the economy have sailed through in Parliament. “Only last one or two (reform legislations) are left and there the direction seems positive. I think from despondency we have entered the more positive zone,” the minister said. Going forward, the minister said, he would concentrate on increased spending on rural infrastructure especially irrigation.