Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government would continue with the reforms, which it failed to pursue in the recent months, with “single-minded focus” to increase investment and growth.
“If (India) is to grow, it is obvious that our public and added private investments have to grow. Some of our reforms, which we have missed out on in the last few months, have to be pursued with a single minded focus. We cannot afford a change in direction, and in this circumstances every state has to contribute,” the minister said while addressing CII Partnership Summit.
Among major reforms, the government has not been able to push the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill, which got stuck in Rajya Sabha because of stiff opposition from the Congress.
Jaitley also called upon the states to improve ease of doing business with a view to attract investors saying they are “smart people” and look for “stability of policy (and) business friendly ecosystem.”
Assuring all possible help to Andhra Pradesh government in rebuilding the state, Jaitley expressed hope that the state would be able to attract investment on the basis of the strength of its policy and leader Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu.
“The nature of governance has changed, the administration has increasingly become corruption free. Decision making has become much quicker. Ease of doing business essentially is a matter of policy and administration,” he added.
Talking about the need to expedite reforms at all levels to push growth, the minister further said the world was going through an extremely difficult and challenging time and difficulties have “spilled over into our system also.”
The World Bank has lowered the global growth forecast to 2.9 per cent, he said, adding growth rates of economies across the world are hovering around extremely low figures.
“… because of the integrated economy, what happens in China, what happens in oil prices, impact our markets. Our revenues also get impacted, when the price regimes are low because nominal GDP gets reduced,” Jaitley said.
He, however, took comfort from the fact that even under the trying circumstances, “India continues to remain the fastest growing economy in the world. So our 7-7.5 per cent growth rate stands out amongst the larger economies as bright spot among global economy.”
Andhra Pradesh, he added, was recording double-digit growth and would be “one of the key engines of growth which would push Indian economy up in the months and years to come.”