India had not talked about declaring a fiscal stimulus package for giving a boost to the economy, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in Washington. “I have not used that phrase (fiscal stimulus). I said we will respond to situations and your fraternity translated the word respond as meaning stimulus,” Jaitley said on Saturday at the closing of an official visit to the United States to attend the week-long annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
“So you are the ones who should be answering and not me,” he said adding that since it was the Indian media which had mentioned fiscal stimulus, “you should ask them” about it, news agency IANS reported.
Last month, the FM had hinted towards a package aimed to help uplift the economy after a sharp decline in macro indicators like GDP and production were witnessed. He had, however, not given any particulars as to what would the package constitute, stating that they would be revealed only after Prime Minister Modi has been consulted with.
“We have taken note of all the economic indicators that are available. This has been a pro-active government on the reforms agenda. I have had a series of discussions with ministerial colleagues and various secretaries. The government will take additional measures in the coming days after consulting the Prime Minister. Whenever the measures are taken, you will come to know of it,” Jaitley had said Delhi after a cabinet meeting.
Indicating that the NDA government had inherited a large fiscal deficit when it came to power almost three years ago, 4.6 per cent, Jaitley said that the country has slowly moved on to glidepath, which will continue. “What are the requirements on the economy? How steep is that glide path, You can decide on a year to year basis,” he said responding to a question.
He also said that the central banking institution, the Reserve Bank of India is an experienced institution and is capable of deciding for itself. “They know that inflation management and growth both have to be balanced. RBI has an expertise of its own. They take their decisions accordingly,” he said.
The union finance minister also said that there is much interest about India in the US and among its investors. “Both those inside the government and the US companies have shown great interest in investing in India now,” he said.”
Jaitley, who led the Indian delegation to the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, also said that American companies are investing in India in a big way. “You have Indians investing in the US, you have US companies investing in India. And, in November, a large contingent of US corporates is coming to India to invest,” he said.”
(With PTI inputs)