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Reform or perish: Jaitley’s message to states

india Updated: Mar 07, 2016 22:47 IST
Arun jaitley

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley speaks during a media address at Gyan Sangam-II seminar in Gurgaon on Saturday. (PTI)

Asking states to ‘reform or perish’, finance minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said states must compete with each another to attract investments.

“Those who don’t reform, the people in those states are going to be at a disadvantageous position and those who are in a position to offer a more favourable economic, business and political environment to investors, certainly those are states that are going to win.

“Reform or Perish couldn’t be more true than it is today,” he said while inaugurating the two-day Happening Haryana Global Investor Summit here.

Investors are not philanthropists, they are business people, he said, adding, “if there is an environment of paralysis in a given state, policies are not reforming, the investor doesn’t feel enthused enough to invest there.”

He also said that states are increasingly becoming competitive with regard to attracting investments.

“I slightly deviated from the conventional phrase that was used about India being a country with co-operative federalism. And I had in the first few months itself started saying that in addition we are also a competitive federalism.

“The future lies there, because it’s not merely the Centre-state relation, but states competing against each other in order to attract investments,” he said.

The finance minister, who announced a host of steps to boost manufacturing and real estate sectors, said if there is an environment of paralysis in any state and policies are not reforming, then investors will not invest there.

Haryana has a more composite economy with a very large agricultural base, he said, adding the state has transformed itself into a manufacturing state over the last 30-40 years.

“One of the greatest things to happen was to get the auto hub on the outskirts of Delhi. Haryana is also growing into an important service sector economy,” he said.