Terming political opposition to the ordinance route for reforms as ‘obstructionism’, finance minister Arun Jaitley said the foreign investors have no problems with these decisions and they were rather happy that the government has brought in legislations.
“I don’t think that ordinance route is an issue for them at all. They are all extremely happy that the government of India has brought in legislation. The approval of the ordinance is a matter of cause.
“Actions taken under the ordinance are deemed to be valid and at the end of the day, everyone knows that both in the lower house and also in the joint house we have the numbers and therefore the obstructionists can only delay.
“The obstructionists cannot derail it,” Jaitley said amid a series of meetings he is having here on the sidelines of World Economic Forum with existing and potential investors.
He also hinted at not raising tax rates and providing incentives for manufacturing in the coming Budget while asserting that “structural changes” will have to be made to get the economy to 8-9 per cent growth.
“In terms of incentivising manufacturing, it is very much on our agenda. Even though we had few days during the last Budget we did give to Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), National Investment and Manufacturing zone(NIMZ) and so on because we wanted the sector to pick up and that priority is fairly high on our agenda,” he said speaking at a session on ‘India’s Next Decade’.
While referring to various revenue sources for the government including divestment, dividend and spectrum sale, the finance minister said as economic activity picks up, the government’s capacity to raise revenue will also increase.
“I am not in favour of raising the rates of taxation as that could become counter-productive,” he said.
FM on other issues
Ongoing reforms much more than ‘big-bang’:
Finance minister Arun Jaitley said the sum-total of the reform measures and other policy initiatives already taken would be much more than “the big bang”. “I am not going to be swayed by these phrases that are used in television studios. If you take the sum total of all the steps we have already taken, it will be much more than the big bang. Even big bang looks small in comparison,” he said.
Larger consensus must for retail FDI:
Jaitley said that every reform has to wait for its own time and any rethink on multi-brand retail policy would first require a larger consensus in the society. Jaitley maintained that the BJP’s position remains the same on multi-brand retail FDI.
India, US may agree on top priority areas:
The finance minister said the two countries should be able to reach consensus on areas that are of top priority for cooperation between them. Without specifically mentioning the areas, Jaitley said the two countries share a mature relationship and there were many areas where they already agree to each other.