- Struck a blow to shadow economy, says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
- Opposition blames demonetisation, GST for fall in economic growth
- Mr Jaitley says other nations positive about India's policy decisions
The government has been under attack from the Opposition as well former union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie who have attributed the economic slowdown to what they say is the poor handling of key reforms like demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Economic growth slumped to a three-year-low of 5.7 per cent in the June quarter, the lowest in three years.
"If we had indulged in populism, we would have said, 'alright, let people deal in a cash-dominated economy, let India continue to have a shadow economy and everybody prosper on that basis'... And therefore, we struck a blow to that kind of an economy. That's not populism. That was the right economic policy to follow, and obviously, I think there are many in the system who normally don't see beyond their nose," the Finance Minister, who is in the US to attend annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, said.
Saying that the global economy was also improving - citing growth projections by the IMF - Mr Jaitley said that "we should be looking at a much higher growth trajectory in the days to come".
In a speech last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi defended his economic policies asserting that fundamentals are strong and that the government is committed to reversing the setback of the June quarter. PM Modi stated that a "handful of people" are trying to spread a contagion of pessimism based on the slowdown of the June quarter.