Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said that the government has decided to increase public investment in agriculture especially irrigation and rural infrastructure.
On the occasion of the Narendra Modi government’s completion of one year, Jaitley said, “ The government is commitment to the goods and services tax — that aims to turn India into a unified common market and replace a string of state-specific levies – and a land acquisition bill that has been stalled by the Opposition in Parliament.
"One year back, there was general environment of gloom. In its place, an environment of enthusiasm has been created," Jaitley said.
India, he said, "has potential to touch double-digit growth rate" provided decision-making was quick, observing it was the unclear economic policies that led to the fall of the UPA government.
Jaitley blamed the Congress for slow down in economy, saying the party had positioned itself as anti-growth and anti-development for obstructing reforms measures like amendments to the land acquisition law, which the Opposition has called “anti-farmer” for taking away a crucial consent clause from a UPA-era law.
The Congress has launched offensive against the government and even blocked BJP-backed bills including land acquisition bill in recent months, especially in the Rajya Sabha, where the government in a minority.
"A very important highlight of the government has been to give a corruption-free administration to the country. The common man has been freed from political corruption. We are reforming and liberalising, but there is no place for crony capitalism," the Finance Minister said.
He rebuffed the Opposition charge that the government was working for industrialists and said the NDA regime was both pro-growth and pro-development.
"Our social security programmes are going to be one of the strongest ever in this country, but certainly the policy will be one of arms-length distance in terms of decision-making from individual business houses," he said.
Industry is upbeat. Both CII and Ficci applauded reforms of the government in one year.
Sumit Mazumder, President, CII said “the Government has exceeded our expectations and has achieved more in the first year than any other government has achieved in their first year.”
“There are clear signs of recovery and India is already the fastest growing large economy in the world,” he added.
Jyotsna Suri, President, Ficci.said, “Several path-breaking measures have been announced, notably the introduction of social security net for all citizens, rationalization of corporate tax rates and implementation of GST by April next year.”
“ We are confident that going forward too, the government will maintain the growth momentum through continuous policy and reform actions,” she added
However, the main opposition Congress today released a nation wide press statement and raised a slogan ‘Kisan Virodhi – Narendra Modi’. The opposition party highlighted the government apathy towards the farmers and a grave agrarian crisis.
“While Prime Minister is busy ‘beating drums’ and ‘playing violin’ from Japan to Mongolia, a grave ‘agrarian crisis’ of unprecedented scale plagues the ‘Farm Sector’ today, putting a question mark on India’s food security.,” the Congress said.
The Congress termed Modi’s ‘Land Acquisition Ordinance, 2015’ as ‘Life Acquisition Ordinance’ for farmers.