Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said fiscal disciplining is required to put the economy of the country back on tracks as India has witnessed two successive years of sub-five per cent growth.
“At this time, you will require to take some decisions to make sure that the economy is put back on the track,” Jaitley, who is on a two-day visit to Kashmir for security review meetings as Defence Minister, told reporters here.
The Finance Minister said initial amount of fiscal disciplining will enable India and its people to enjoy fruits of sounder economy at a subsequent stage.
“But any kind of fiscal indiscipline at this stage will put us in further doldrums,” he added.
Jaitely said the situation on the economic front was challenging.
“We had two continuous years of less than 5 per cent growth. You had higher level of inflation. Your tax buoyancy has come down,” he said.
Asked to elaborate on the steps he intends to take, Jaitley replied: “You certainly don’t want me to make budget announcement here.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had yesterday warned of “tough decisions” over the next couple of years to improve the country’s financial health, which he said may not go down well with some sections, and attacked the way the previous UPA government had handled the economy.
“Taking tough decisions and strong measures in the coming one or two years are needed to bring financial discipline which will restore and boost the country’s self-confidence”, he had said addressing BJP workers in Mumbai.
India’s economic growth remained below the 5 per cent mark at 4.7 per cent in 2013-14. It remained subdued at 4.6 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2013-14 and during the entire fiscal, mainly due to a decline in manufacturing and mining output.
The country’s economy, or gross domestic product (GDP), had expanded at 4.5 per cent in 2012-13, the slowest pace in the previous decade.