India fastest growing major economy, trend to continue for some years: Jaitley

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh had predicted that GDP would decline by 2 per cent on account of demonetisation.

New Delhi: Union minister Arun Jaitley has said that 7.7 per cent economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2017-18 ‘firmly’ established India as the fastest growing major economy in the world and the trend is likely to continue for some years.

Taking a dig at the critics of the government, Jaitley said that India’s GDP has not declined by 2 per cent on account of demonetisation and GST implementation, nor will India live in poverty as predicted by former finance minister.

“With structural reforms like demonetisation, the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the enforcement of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, we had two challenging quarters. Those who predicted a 2 per cent decline in GDP growth have been conclusively proved wrong,” he said in a Facebook post.

“A distinguished predecessor of mine feared that he may have to live his future in poverty. We have enabled every Indian to be a part of the world’s fastest growing economy. The future looks much brighter than the past. This trend is likely to continue for some years,” he said.

“The fourth quarter results of GDP data showed a phenomenal 7.7 per cent growth rate and has established India firmly as the fastest growing global economy. This trend, according to experts, is likely to continue for the next few years,” he said.

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh had predicted that GDP would decline by 2 per cent on account of demonetisation, while former finance minister Yashwant Sinha had said that policies of the Modi government will make people poorer.

Observing that another former finance minister had suggested that the government should cut the tax on oil by Rs 25 per litre, Jaitley said: He never endeavoured to do so himself. This is a ‘Trap’ suggestion. It is intended to push India into an unmanageable debt – something which the UPA Government left as its legacy.

“We must remember that the economy and the markets reward structural reforms, fiscal prudence, and macro-economic stability. They punish fiscal indiscipline and irresponsibility. The transformation from UPA’s ‘policy paralysis’ to the NDA’s ‘fastest growing economy’ conclusively demonstrates this”.

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram last week claimed that it was possible for the Centre to cut tax up to Rs 25 per litre on petrol prices but the Modi-government will not do so.

The former finance minister had also said that the BJP government pushed people into poverty and the number of people below poverty line has gone up than what was during the UPA regime.

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