The Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley said that the Government has taken series of measures to tackle various challenges being faced by the infrastructure sector in the country. The Finance Minister said that many more such measures are in offing in near future. The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley said that he is in discussion with the members of opposition parties to make necessary procedural changes in Land Acquisition Act in order to avoid delay in the implementation of the infrastructure projects. The Finance Minister was delivering the Key Note Address at the Citi’s Investor Summit: “India – Poised for Higher Growth” here today.
The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley further said that various sectors have been opened for foreign direct investment in the infrastructure sector by the present Government. In this regard he specifically mentioned about the defence and power sectors among others. The Finance Minister said that the Government through its Budget has laid down a direction in which the economy is likely to proceed to restore the investors’ confidence. He said that there will not be any movement of economy in contrary direction.
The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley also gave details of various economic reforms which are in the pipeline. In this regard, he specifically mentioned about the Goods and Service Tax (GST) and Insurance Amendment Bill among others. He said that he is expecting that Insurance Amendment Bill will be passed in the forthcoming Winter Session of Parliament. He said that he is in touch with the Parliament Select Committee in this regard and will try to persuade it to give its report at the earliest.
As regards GST, the Finance Minister said that he is in touch with the various State Governments and most of the contentious issues have already been resolved. He said there are two areas including liquor and petroleum products where the States want to have taxation authority. Two States want entry tax and octroi to be kept-out of the purview of the GST. The Finance Minster said that all these issues will be sorted-out soon. He will also apprise the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers’ about the draft Constitution Amendment Bill on GST before introducing the same in Parliament.
The Union Finance Minister said that the targets fixed for disinvestment in the current financial year are quite ambitious one but he hopes to achieve that or reach near the same. He said that road shows in this regard are being held in many parts of the world.
The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley said that inflation, especially food inflation has moderated in last few months and global fuel prices have also come down. Therefore, if RBI which is highly professional organization in its wisdom decides to bring down the cost of capital will give a good fillip to the Indian economy.
Along with the Finance Minister, Shri Dinesh Sharma, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Shri S.S. Mundra, Deputy Governor, RBI and Shri Parmit Zhaveri, CEO, Citi Bank were also present on this occasion. The aforesaid Summit was also attended among others by domestic and international investors.