Speaking on the Narendra Modi-led government’s performance in the last three years, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said the NDA government had “restored the credibility of the economy.” The announcement comes a day after the Central Statistics Office (CSO)announced that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth for the January-March quarter stood at 6.1 per cent as against a 7.0 per cent growth in the last quarter.
Targetting the previous UPA government for weakening economy, the Finance Minister said, “Three years ago, there was slowdown in policy reform and structural changes in India. The system we inherited was weak in terms of credibility mainly due to corruption and indecisiveness.”
On GDP growth
“There are several factors which affect GDP. Even before demonetisation, there was some slowdown. I do believe, that in the current global situation, a 7 to 8 per cent growth which is at the moment an Indian normal, is a reasonable growth. I don’t see any adverse impact of the GST.” News agency Reuters noted that Jaitley “played down the impact of demonetisation on economic growth” saying the annual rate of growth was “very reasonable”.
Jaitley said demonetisation helped in quashing the parallel economy in the country. “We set a new normal after demonetisation. It is no longer safe to deal in cash. We have shown decisiveness in policy making. Earlier, there was a parallel, shadow economy heavily depending on cash. We have ended that. There is now a greater focus on digitisation. The tax payers’ base has increased, post our reforms against black money.”
Jaitley, who has been given the defence portfolio after former defence minister Manohar Parrikar became Goa CM, also spoke on the Pakistani Army’s ceasefire violations along the LoC. “In the past few days our armed forces have been dominating the LoC. Our efforts to reach out to Pakistan has been thwarted by them with responses such as Pathankot or Uri. So our overtures for peace have been successfully avoided by Pakistan.”
“In state of preparedness for July 1. Using media propaganda for getting rates varied won’t make significant impact on council’s decision.”