Will boost investment in infrastructure, manufacture in 2015: Jaitley


The government will encourage public and private investment in infrastructure and manufacturing sectors, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said Wednesday making his New Year resolution on a social networking website.

“Infrastructural spending has to be stepped up. Manufacturing sector has to be given a major push. This has to be done both through encouraging public and private investment. This is our resolve for the upcoming year,” he said in a New Year’s Eve post titled 2014 – The Year of Challenges and Reforms.

Describing 2014 as one of the most challenging years for the country after two consecutive years of below 5 percent GDP growth, and declining employment generation and revenue buoyancy, he listed the NDA government’s reform measures, including “national consensus” and introduction of a bill for the Goods and Services Tax (GST), liberalisation of FDI norms, ordinance to amend the land acquisition law, “clearing up the mess” in the coal and power sector, and deregulation of diesel prices.

Amending the provisions of the Companies Act to add to the ease of doing business, banking sectors reforms, tax rebates, launching programmes such as Clean India and Digital India were some of the other steps listed by the finance minister.

“Despite major reforms steps taken, there are still challenges which the Indian economy faces,” he added.

In his previous post Tuesday, Jaitley refuted media reports that he had criticised Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan on not easing the interest rate in his address Monday at the Make in India workshop.

“There was not a single sentence reference (not even a word) in my entire speech on either the Reserve Bank or its governor,” he wrote.

Saying he had only suggested steps to improve India’s manufacturing capabilities, Jaitley posted: “What is reported is a speech that I did not deliver.”

One of the many points that I made was that the cost of capital has to be cut down. Any one speaking on the subject of making India into a manufacturing hub would necessarily suggest this, he added.


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