With the year 2015 ending next week, Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley has expressed “great satisfaction” over the performance of the Indian economy. Calling 2015 a “year of turmoil and volatility” at the global scale, Arun Jaitley on Sunday dismissed grumblings about the economy not having taken off as “cynicism”. At the same time, the senior cabinet minister is hoping to get the all-crucial Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill through soon next year.
“As the year ends, I look back with a sense of great satisfaction,” Union Finance minister told the news agency in an interview.
Adding further that India has been the bright spot with growth prospects of 7-7.5 per cent despite global slowdown and adversities, he expressed optimism that the growth rate which is “quite good” would improve further in the months to come.
“India has responded well to the challenge posed by the slowdown in global economy,” Arun Jaitley said acknowledging at the same time that “there are areas (in which) we have to respond faster”.
Outlining his priorities for the New Year, the Finance Minister said he would continue with structural reforms and the priorities would include GST, rationalising direct taxes and further easing the system of doing business.
“After having done that, I would like to concentrate essentially on three things — more money for physical infrastructure, more money on social infrastructure and lastly more money on irrigation because that is a neglected sector,” he told the news agency.
Asked about murmurs that the economy has not really taken off, Jaitley dismissed such grumblings as without merit and said that “the revenue collections do not go up without the economy taking off”.
“Cynicism is a way of life in India. You can question any other data but you cannot question the actual rise of revenue and the actual rise of revenue is showing that the economy is doing better,” he said.
On the question if the Indian industry was also prone to such cynicism, the Union Minister said, “I think a section of the Indian industry has overstretched itself and those who have overstretched themselves see this as a universal problem”.
(With inputs from the PTI)