Union finance minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said the decision to scrap the Planning Commission was taken to facilitate greater autonomy to the state government in determining how they wished to utilise national resources.
At a function held in Mumbai, Jaitley said, “The biggest challenge ahead for government is to tackle the growing regional aspirations.”
The ‘command-and-control’ Planning Commission will be replaced with the National Development Reform Commission (NDRC) to allow regions to decide their own road map. “Why should the Centre tell states what needs to be done and not. Each state should be allowed to decide and plan how it intends to utilise the national resources,” he stressed.
Outlining the government’s economic policies he said, “High taxation and low growth was not acceptable.” The minister said, “ We are in favour of open market economy with greater social responsibilities.”
“I am pro-business. I am pro-poor,” Jaitley said. “Being pro-corporate does not mean you are against the fighting poverty. To the contrary it paves the way for greater job opportunities and asset creation and also revenue generation for government.”
While describing 1970s and 80s as “wasted decades” he lamented the liberalisation of 1990s was not pursued by the UPA government post 2004. The “policy paralysis” and “tax terrorism” hampered the national growth.
The minister was very critical about the retrospective taxation brought by the UPA government which was spooking investors. “ The imposition of retrospective tax created a negative sentiment about the country. If your taxation policy is so fragile then there is no authenticity to your economic and tax policies,” he added.