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FM Jaitley says Delhi election rout no obstacle to economic reforms

The government will go ahead with its economic reforms despite the rout in the Delhi Assembly elections, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

The government will go ahead with its economic reforms despite the rout in the Delhi Assembly elections. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday, "The fact that four (state Assembly) elections have been won and one has not been won is absolutely no ground for believing that there will be any slowdown on the path which we have undertaken."

During a joint press conference with US treasury secretary Jacob Lew at the end of 5th Indo-US Economic and Financial Partnership meeting here, Jaitley said that the kind of reforms that the government has been undertaking would bring in investment, generate jobs, improve the quality of life and also help in alleviating poverty.

Jaitley's first comments after the Bharatiya Janata Party's election debacle in the backdrop of political analysts raising the question that the government would resort to populism assume significance. The finance minister is scheduled to present his first full Budget on February 28 which will unveil the government's strategy to boost economic growth. Since coming to power in May last, the government has taken a slew of economic reforms especially easing of foreign investment norms.

Jaitley said that he and Lew discussed a range of other issues, including taxation and long-term investment strategies. India and the US have committed to work together to check illicit money transfers for terrorism and other illegal activities even as the two countries discussed ways to boost trade ties.

Lew said, "We have had a close cooperative relationship with India. We share a common commitment to working together to try as much as we can to shut down the flow of funding to those who commit terrorist acts and other kinds of such activities."