Jaitley promises more reforms; sees better growth this fiscal

September 21, 2015 09:24 am | Updated 10:33 am IST - Hong Kong

"Fiscal deficit is gradually coming down and we are now aiming to bring it down in the next 2-3 years to 3 per cent," Jaitley said. File photo

"Fiscal deficit is gradually coming down and we are now aiming to bring it down in the next 2-3 years to 3 per cent," Jaitley said. File photo

India’s economic growth is expected to improve despite unfavourable global winds as the government continues with several reform programmes, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Monday.

Emphasising that India has the potential to be the bright spot in the gloomy global economic scenario, Jaitley said fiscal deficit is coming down and inflation is very much under control.

“I see the road ahead with regard to several reform programmes of the government continuing. Economic reforms will be an ongoing activity. There is no finishing line for that,” Jaitley said while addressing global investors in Hong Kong.

A significant change that is taking place is that the reforms are moving in forward direction consistently and states have also realised that they have a great role in this growth story, he added.

Jaitley said the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is one of the most important taxation reforms and the government has also opened many sectors, including defence manufacturing.

“Bankruptcy law is ready to be taken up in Parliament, laws for resolution of contracts, allocation of public contracts and public procurement, are being pursued.”

Assuring foreign investors, he said putting tax issues to rest is certainly a “high priority” for the government.

About growth prospects, the Finance Minister said he thinks India has the potential to be the bright spot even in somewhat gloomier situation. “We grew by 7.3 per cent last year and I am sure we will improve on that front this year.”

“I am conscious of adversities that come our way. India ended last year with 7.3 per cent. We had good fiscal figures.

Fiscal deficit is gradually coming down and we are now aiming to bring it down in the next 2-3 years to 3 per cent.

“Current account deficit is down to 1.2 per cent, foreign exchange reserves are very high, inflation is very much under control and therefore macroeconomic indications seem to be positive,” the Finance Minister said.

Observing that these numbers have come in the midst of a global slowdown, Jaitley said, “Global headwinds are not helping us and at times are creating adversities, particularly the external factors have impacted our exports and in favourable global conditions we can improve on the growth rate of 7.3 per cent in a significant way.”

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