India is set to grow at 6-6.5% in 2015-16 and by over 7% the year after, finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Friday while listing out a raft of reform measures.
“We are working overtime on reforms, the Insurance Bill will be taken up next week,” Jaitley said at an event in New Delhi. The minister also expressed hope that the Constitution Amendment Bill for goods and services tax (GST) would be introduced in the current session of Parliament so that it could be discussed and considered in the next session.
Dismissing charges that the government did not bring in any big ticket reform measures, he said that a host of steps has been taken. “One has to see the big picture... it is not about sensentionalising,” he said, adding that one of the biggest decisions was to abolish the Planning Commission and set up a new structure where the states would be given more power.
Jaitley also pointed out that the government took the important step of decontrolling diesel. Jaitley, who sat late on Thursday evening with state finance ministers to sort out differences and build consensus for the roll out of the much-awaited GST Bill, pointed out that steps would also be taken to streamline public expenditure. The government, he said, would further rationalise subsidies once the Expenditure Management Commission submits its report.
Replying to a question about State Bank of India’s controversial $1-billion (`6,200 crore) loan agreement with Adani Group, Jaitley said that the bank’s decision to sanction loans depends entirely on the credit worthiness of the company; the government has no role to play in it.
Jaitley, who is in charge of multiple ministries which include information and broadcasting and corporate affairs in addition to finance, described his primary role as a finance minister.
He also said that all those who have stashed away black money outside the country would be punished no matter how high and mighty they may be.