This Article is From Jun 01, 2017

Arun Jaitley On 3 Years Of Modi Government: Highlights

He said the government has taken key initiatives to reduce scope of corruption. Ahead of July rollout of the national tax GST, Mr Jaitley said it will usher in a revolution in taxation administration.

We Restored Credibility In Economy, Says Arun Jaitley while addressing media

New Delhi: On completion of the NDA government's three years in office, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is addressing a press conference in the national capital. Claiming to have "restored the credibility of the economy", the Finance Minister said, "We have shown decisiveness, even the ability to take difficult decisions." He said the government has taken key initiatives to reduce scope of corruption. Ahead of July rollout of the national tax GST, Mr Jaitley said it will usher in a revolution in taxation administration. Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on his monthly radio address Mann ki Baat, said he was happy with the feedback the government was receiving on its work. "I am very happy people are evaluating our work in great detail. I welcome this. Constructive criticism strengthens our democracy," PM Modi had said.On May 26, the day PM Modi took oath of office three years ago, he had put up a series of data showcasing the performance of his government.

Here are the highlights of his address:

  • Three years ago, there was a slowdown in policy reform
  • The perception of our economy in the world was poor
  • We had poor monsoon in the 2 of the last 3 years
  • We restored the credibility of the economy
  • There are three reasons for this 1) Decisiveness: the ability to take strong steps 2) We ended governmental discretion  3) The direction of growth
  • We took Policies that boosted growth and ensure the benefits of growth reach everyone
  • FDI played a key role. We became the largest recipients of FDI
  • We also made efforts to strengthen states
  • In India, a federal taxation has been created for the first time with consensus. This is in its final stage
  • Once this is implemented, we will witness a benefit in taxation policy
  • All economic leakages have been checked
  • Through Demonetisation, the government has created a new normal in the economy
  • We ensured that there will be an elimination of a parallel economy
  • There have been three advantages: 1) Movement towards digitalisation 2) Increase in taxpayers 3) A message has been conveyed, loud and clear that it is no longer safe to deal in cash
  • We made transformational changes in solvency and insolvency laws
  • There have been challenges, through the way
  • The work for revolution of banking is still under progressing. It is a major challenge
  • Linked to this, is the challenge of wanting to increase private sector investment - even though public and FDI investment has increased
  • There is a significant impact of global trends as well
  • When we started 3 years ago, in the first year revenue increase was 9.4 per cent. Second year was 17, third year was 18. This has also benefited the poor
  • We have tried to provide rural electrification, direct benefit transfers, infrastructure creation, bank accounts to the poor
  • Many issues related to defence were pending. We passed One Rank One Pension (OROP) and ensured better defence procurement
  • We also want to stress upon defence manufacturing. We have introduced strategic partnership for the same
  • There are challenges from our padosi (neighbours) and insurgency
  • There are several factors which can contribute to the GDP of a particular quarter
  • There was some slowdown visible even prior to demonetisation last year
  • There was impact of global factors. There was also the impact of various sectors: the 9 per cent growth in the service sector had come down
  • I am sure as the impact of all our policies hold out, this will be beneficial
  • GST: GST, by itself, will add to growth
  • So far we have succeeded in maintaining the consensus with GST
  • Initially, critics said there are no big bang reforms
  • Once GST was passed, and they had no issue, they started talking about jobless growth
  • You have a mechanism in the GST council to discuss individual cases; officials meet to decide rates, and the council takes decision
  • Media propaganda won't affect any decision of the council
  • People who have deposited cash disproportionate to their income, during demonetisation, were asked to explain by authorities
  • Authorities are also investigating benami properties
  • As far as defence procurement proposals are concerned, there is a particular mechanism through which decisions are taken
  • As far as FDI is concerned, it has been liberalised in phases. FDI changes merely open the door - they are enabling. They themselves do not ensure the entry of participants. The reason being, there is only one purchaser: Government of India. There are no two procurers
  • Hence, the strategic partnership policy is going to supplement the procurement policy
  • India-Pak relations: Govt has taken steps to ease the problem
  • PM Modi invited SAARC leaders including Pakistan Prime Minister to the swearing in; he visited Lahore. These were all steps to ease the tension
  • Each has been responded with a Pathankot, Uri and mutilation of our soldiers. The environment for talks have been prevented by Pakistan
  • Lalu Yadav and P Chidambaram raids: I have said that whatever evidence an investigative agency gets, it has to present it to a court. Only the court will decide whether it is valid or not
  • Beef controversy: Every state has its own legislature 
  • We have directive principles in the constitution which states that certain types of animals need to be protected