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FM Arun Jaitley's top 6 quotes today on India's growth

Meghna Mittal     January 30, 2016

Addressing the 57th National Cost Convention and the Economic Times Global Business Summit in the capital on Saturday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley spoke extensively on Indian economy, the fall of the rupee and a number of other issues. Here are top 5 quotes from the Finance Minister on various aspects of the economy before he presents the Union Budget for 2016-17 on February 29.

  1. On GDP: "The Indian normal has to be in the 8 or 9 per cent category. It is only at that pace that you can get rid of poverty. Indian economy has to be put on sounder platform, our fundamentals have to be strong enough," Jaitley said.
  2. On subsidy: "Government not against the concept of subsidy per se. We are for rationalisation, not abolition. I am not arguing that all subsidies are good. My point is there can't be an ideological position on such matters. We have to be pragmatic. We have to eliminate bad subsidies, whether or not they are called subsidies," Jaitley said.
  3. Taxation: "India would not pursue foreign companies with new retroactive tax claims. There must not be unfair taxation, unfair assessment brings bad name, not revenue. Only two or three legacy tax issues left, trying to sort out those expeditiously," he said.
  4. Rupee: "Do not agree rupee is in a free-fall mode, rupee has weakened least compared to most other currencies," Jaitley said.
  5. On GST: "It (GST) is the important reform of UPA. If I had to credit the authorship of it, I have to give credit to them (UPA). Now, If the author turns against his own script, what do I make... I have reached out (and) I have spoken to them. I have explained to them and I hope they will see reason... (and) see the rationale behind passing GST. I don't see a reason why they (Congress) should have a rethink on the Bill. If there is a discussion on a particular idea in the Bill, I am willing to discuss with them...certainly, we can't bound future generations to a flawed legislation. The UPA allies like the RJD, the NCP and the JD-U are openly supporting it," Jaitley said.
  6. On low cost of Chinese goods: "If Make in India has to succeed, we actually have to become a low-cost manufacturing hub. And I think there are several global factors which collectively are suiting us. The world has never seen this kind of low price regime. And India as a net buyer benefits from this low price regime... it is extremely important at this junction we fully make use of this global situation. In a world of competition, you actually have to beat your closest competitor. To cut costs, both at micro and larger levels, there are a lot of improvement and changes required in any system," Jaitley said.


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