Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today laid bare the direction of the government’s economic transformation programme which focusses on beefing up agriculture by giving a thrust to rural infrastructure and irrigation and hastening the pace of reforms for facilitating business, ushering in GST, putting in place a bankruptcy code, expediting dispute resolution through arbitration and bringing in transparent and fair public procurement laws.
Addressing global and Indian CEOs at the ‘India Economic Convention 2015’ on the theme, ‘Architecture for Growth’, organised by India Foundation in association with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Jaitley said the country’s electorate gave a massive mandate for governance to a single party in the last general elections and this had made the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) the final arbiter in decision-making, in stark contrast to the policy paralysis witnessed during the past decade due to the marginalisation of the PMO, where decision-making lay with those outside the government.
The Finance Minister said that the present government was totally clear on the direction that economic governance of the country needs to take. "We have sought to restructure the model of governance which takes the burden of employment off a fragile agriculture sector; one which forces the pace of development of the services and urban sector and builds a vibrant manufacturing sector, he said .
Jaitley said that as big companies have large have low incremental absorptive capacities, the architecture for growth has to be built around infusing public and foreign investment so that adequate funds could be diverted to kickstart new small ventures with the capacity to absorb the growing army of job seekers and give a bigger fillip to growth.
Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Finance said,. "Our government wants to build India’s productive capacity to achieve and sustain an 8-10 percent growth steadily through boom and bust cycles. Our approach is to power growth through supply-side interventions and investments, rather than a consumption-led, demand-side orientation."
Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Enterprises and ICC First Vice Chairman, exhorted Indian and global investors to cash in on the opportunities that have opened up through the launch of programmes such as Make in India, Digital India, Skill India and ‘Swachch Bharat Mission’. He said the government is committed to bringing the manufacturing sector out of the backstage and told the delegates that there is a huge opportunity to build businesses around these programmes."
He said that India had emerged virtually unscathed from the global economic turbulence with an expected growth rate of 7.2 percent, going up to 7.5 percent in the not too distant future. This, he added, was made possible because of India’s large market and an aspirational population of over 1.2 billion people.