Millennium Post

Huge amount of popular support for economic reforms, says Finmin

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said that for the first time there is popular support for economic reforms in India and the recent election outcomes are indicative of it.

"The significant part of our economy on Saturday is, that there is perhaps for the first time, a huge amount of popular support as far as economic reforms are concerned," Jaitley said here at a reception hosted in his honour by Indian Ambassador to the US Navtej Sarna. Governments in the past even when they reformed they were in stages, always felt that there was a political cost involved, he said, adding that as a result after some reforms they would take a pause.

"Obviously, people across the world had legitimate grudge as to how long India would take to take some of the steps. I think that phase in now behind us, he told the audience comprising officials from the Trump administration, diplomats, corporate leaders, think-tank community and Indian-Americans. He said repeated elections indicate that people have become more aspirational and highly supportive of reforms.

Jaitley said that in the last three years India has been able to grow in the range of seven to eight per cent, even as the world has experienced a slowdown. "That is the rate of growth that we have fairly maintained. Our all other economic parameters seems to be fairly well under control," he said.

"We have seen in the last few years, 7-8 per cent growth is the Indian normal now," he said. "We grew 7.2 per cent, followed by 7.9 per cent, followed by likely 7.1 and the next year it is expected to go up," he said, adding that this figure could go up depending on two circumstances.

First being that does growth return to the rest of the world. And second being theuntested area, economists feel is the impact of the goods and services tax when implemented itself could result in significant growth jump, he noted.

"India has become one of the more open economies of the world. Most of our sectors are open for international investment. And we have been attracting huge investment that any country has been attracting in the world," he asserted.
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