Millennium Post

Govt working overtime to push reforms, will achieve 6.5% growth rate: Jaitley

Committing to push growth rate to 6-6.5 per cent in the next fiscal, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said the government is "working overtime" to push reforms, especially, in sectors like insurance, coal and Goods and Services Tax (GST).

"We are working overtime on bill will be taken up next week", the minister said while speaking at a programme organised by television channel Aaj Tak.

The minister further said that he sat late last evening with state finance ministers to sort out the issues hampering roll out of the long-pending GST. "I will try to introduce the Constitution amendment bill for GST in the current session of Parliament so that it could be discussed and considered in the next session," he said, adding the bill to clear mess in the coal during UPA regime is being taken up by Parliament.

The government, Jaitley said, was hopeful of achieving an economic growth rate of 6-6.5 per cent in the next financial year and over 7 per cent thereafter.

Refuting the criticism that government has not taken any big-ticket reform measures in the last six months, the minister said, they are not about "sensationalising things. One should see the big picture." Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he added, announced the important decision of abolishing the Planning Commission, an institution which became irrelevant after the introduction of the economic reforms in 1991.

He further said the government decontrolled diesel and would take more steps to streamline public expenditure and rationalise subsidies after receiving the report of the Expenditure Commission. On black money the Finance Minister said the assessment in 627 accounts of HSBC concerning overseas accounts would be completed by March 31, 2015. Identity of 427 account holders abroad has been established and 250 of them have admitted to having accounts, he said.

Bringing back black money stashed abroad is a procedure which will take time, he said, adding, international treaties have to be respected and honoured.
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