NEW DELHI: In its efforts to boost economic growth, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said that the country will be able to improve its growth this year from the 7.6 per cent achieved last fiscal.
Outlining the direction forward for the Indian economy in his address at the Asia Society at New York, Jaitley said the country still requires a lot of structural changes and the government has taken steps to ease processes, make the business environment easier and bring in greater transparency into the system.
“Notwithstanding that we have consistently, even in the slowdown environment, grown by about 7 per cent — 7.2 per cent last year, 7.6 per cent this fiscal — and hopefully this year we could improve on that data,” Jaitley said in his address on ‘Make in India - the New Deal’ hosted by CII and the Asia Society Policy Institute.
Jaitley expressed hope that the bankruptcy law would be approved over the next few weeks and said the government ‘is in the final stages’ of passing a law that deals with commercial indebtedness.
The government has also changed arbitration laws, amended some of the ‘onerous provisions’ of the Companies Act and will bring down corporate tax to 25 percent over the next couple of years.
On the most ambitious indirect taxes law, Jaitley said India is in the ‘last stages’ before the Goods and Services Tax ( GST) is approved by Parliament and then with supporting legislations, it actually gets into implementation.
“I think we have all our hands full, the next couple of years bringing about each one of these structural changes. In addition to this, two significant directions which I have followed are increased expenditure in infrastructure and in rural India. These are the two areas which were lacking and these appear to be the focus area. That probably will be the direction of the economy in the next few years,” Jaitley said.
He said the world at the moment still faces serious challenges and India cannot ‘immune’ itself from most of the challenges. Jaitley underscored that while India has done fairly well in an environment of global challenges, it has the potential to grow even faster.