CHENNAI: Parrying a stream of requests, complaints and items off the wish list of some of the biggest captains of industry, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said with a heightened degree of confidence, “The last decade was one of missed opportunities. But over the last 8-9 months, we have restored faith in the Indian economy.”
Jaitley spoke at an interactive session organised by CII, that saw the participation of TVS chief Venu Srinivasan, Apollo Hospitals’ Chairman Prathap C Reddy and India Cements’ boss N Srinivasan on Monday. Explaining why restructuring the economy had taken them this long, Jaitley said, “India’s taxation structure was adversarial and it scared investors away. People do not like to invest in a country where there is a hidden cost of corruption.”
A failing of the UPA-I and II regimes as a whole, he still showed an ounce of sympathy for former PM Manmohan Singh. “I have heard that the former Prime Minister was in favour of passing legislation to that effect, but certain people in the government didn’t let it happen,” he added.
Jaitley took several suggestions from the industrialists, asking them to submit these in written form for pre-budget consideration. Responding to Dr Prathap Reddy’s long standing appeal for allowing Public Private Participation in healthcare, he asked for these suggestions to be submitted without fail.
He also said, “Obviously, we cannot discuss what is going to be in the Union Budget at this time, but these suggestions will be considered very seriously.”
He did add later that the financial allocation for sectors like education and health “would obviously be looking at an increase,” in the budget for 2015-16.