‘India haven of stability... but efforts must to sustain growth’
"The prevailing economic scenario across the world is challenging to say the least. This year's Budget was proposed and presented at a time of unusual volatility in the international economic environment, markets are fearful, the global recovery may be faltering. "Against this background, India stands out as a haven of stability and opportunity," Jaitley said at the Civil Accounts Day 2016 here.
The country's macro economics factors are stable and the government is committed to fiscal consolidation as well as low inflation, he said a day after presenting the Union Budget for the next fiscal, starting April. India's economic growth is among the highest in the world, and the achievements are remarkable because they have been accomplished in the face of weak exports demand and a second successive year of poor rainfall, Jaitley said.
"The task is now to sustain them in the more difficult environment. This will require sound economic management. Fiscal policy will continue to be vital in the uncertain global environment while sustaining growth," he added. The minister said that on the government's reform to transform agenda, a series of measures have been enacted which should increase the supply potential of the economy.
"We want to create wealth and spread that wealth across the economy specially to the farmers, vulnerable and the disadvantaged groups...enhanced social sector spending aimed at promoting equitable growth and increasing demand for better services from the government has raised the need for the new and improved accountability paradigm," he said.
He added that it is therefore imperative to strengthen the expenditure management, strategies and further improve on the quality of expenditure for achieving higher social outcomes. Further, Jaitley said he has recently received the report of the expenditure management commission, constituted to recommend the ways to improve the efficiency of the public expenditure.
"The Department of Expenditure will be examining the key recommendations and steps that are required to be taken," he said adding the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) would also need to play an important role in the implementation process of these recommendations.
Jaitley said the CGA can play an important role towards improving public expenditure management by commissioning specific studies that evaluate and measure performances in implementation of national priority programmes.
He added: "Outputs and outcomes can be measured. What is measurable can be made accountable. Our object is to learn from the past experience in implementation of major projects and schemes and rectify weaknesses through suitable modifications in the design of future projects.”