Centre will take steps to push public investment: Jaitley

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at a CII meet in Chennai on Monday. With him are RAvi Sam (right), Chairman, CII, Tamil Nadu and R. Seshasayee, chairman of the CII Economic Growth and Development Council. Photo: K. Pichumani  

The Centre will take special steps to push public investment for driving economic growth within the constraints posed by the fiscal deficit, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said here on Monday.

“Even with the present constraint of fiscal deficit in revenue, it’s a challenging and difficult opportunity for us. But I think we have to take some special steps as far as public investments is concerned,” he said in an interaction with members of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

As part of this, roads and highways and infrastructure projects would receive special focus.

“The increased excise duties on petrol and diesel will not go into the Consolidated Fund of India but will be used to invest in development of roads and highways,” Mr. Jaitley said.

Seeking to temper expectations ahead of the Union budget for 2015-16, he said policy announcements could be made outside the budget too and that the budget is “only one day in a year.”

Referring to the RBI’s interest rate cut last week, Mr. Jaitley said: “I see it as beginning of process and therefore in times to come it will give a further boost. ”

Mr. Jaitley underlined the need to rationalise subsidies and referred to the market pricing of petrol and diesel and direct transfer of cooking gas subsidy to consumers’ bank accounts from January 1 as proof of the government’s determination.

The Modi government had spent the last 7-8 months on just restoring credibility, he said, contending that the taxation policies of the UPA government had scared investors away.

“We are struggling to make taxation policies non-adversarial,” the Finance Minister said. The Centre had received encouraging response from the States to the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax, Mr. Jaitley said.

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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 11:33:32 PM |

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