Talking about GST, demonetisation, Jaitley says structural reforms have long term benefits besides some short term pains.
Mumbai: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said the Indian economy has seen the fastest growth for the past three years. Jaitley, along with top officials from the Finance Ministry took stock of the economy and laid out a plan for boosting the economy, which has been slowing down.
Defending the Modi government's bold measures -- like GST and demonetisation -- Jaitley said that initially when structural reforms are rolled out, in their natural course, some problems are there. However, in the long term, there are benefits.
"GST is the biggest reform which has curbed corruption substantially," Jaitley said.
Saying that “strong economic fundamentals” are the backbone of the economy even now, Jaitley proceeded to give a presentation of the plan to boost the economy.
Economic Affairs Secretary S C Garg said India's macro-economic fundamentals were strong with economy consistently seeing record low inflation figures. Garg while highlighting government's makeover plan for the Indian economy said the GDP was set to take off from its lows.
According to Garg, the whole world has acknowledged India's ability to take up strong reforms and implement them too. "GST has been the biggest reform, along with others like demonetisation and fight against black money. Issues related to exporters, SMEs have been sorted out and very soon GST will contribute to our growth story," he added.
He also said the government was confident it will meet its disinvestment target for 2017-18 financial year. In the Union Budget 2017 speech, Jaitley had said government wants to raise Rs 72,000 crore from partial sale of identified public sector undertaking units, particularly the ailing ones.
Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa said the government has consistently tried to take decisions that will benefit common man's life. There has been a big push in public spending in first 6 months of budget. Public spending at Rs 11.47 lakh crore was up to September 17.
"The government has consistently laid focus on public investment and infrastructure for welfare of common man," Lavasa said. Special thrust has been laid on five key sectors -- roads, housing, railways, power, digital infrastructure.
A historic decision has been taken regarding road construction with the launch of the Bharatmala Prayojana. 83,677 km of roads will be laid on which Rs 6.92 lakh crore will be invested. Apart from that, 14.2 crore man days of jobs will be generated, Lavasa explained.
Lavasa said in the first phase of Bharatmala, around 34,800 km of roads will be constructed for which Rs 5,35,000 crore will be invested. Besides, a 9,000 km economic corridor will also be built , alongwith inter corridor and feeder route (6,000km), National Corridors Efficiency Improvement, Border Roads and International Connectivity (2,000km), Coastal Roads and Port Connectivity(2,000 km), Greenfield Expressways(800km) and Balance NHDP works(10,000 km).