Arun Jaitley on Modi govt’s one year: ‘There’s absolute clarity on development path

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The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) govt has ushered in an environment of enthusiasm on the economic front and it is taking decisions in order to promote development, finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Friday.

“There was a general environment of gloom one year back,” he said at a press conference.

“There has been transparency in the decisions that have been taken by this government,” Jaitley said, stressing there was absolute clarity on vision.

“There’s absolute clarity where the Modi govt wants to go. The direction is growth and development.”

A wobbly economy, low job opportunities, high inflation, political logjam in Parliament and fears of a below normal monsoon are the next challenges to the government.

Turning around business sentiment and pushing social sector programmes would be on the priority list of the Modi-led government.

“In the field of indirect taxation, we are in process of creating history by bringing most important indirect tax reform — the GST,” Jaitley said.

GST is India’s most ambitious indirect tax reform plan, which aims to stitch together a common market by dismantling fiscal barriers between states. It is a single national uniform tax levied across the country on all goods and services except petroleum products, and alcohol for human consumption.

Highlighting PM Modi’s mantra of cooperative development, Jaitley said the government was committed to better Centre-state coordination.

Misuse of investigative agencies is a thing of the past, the finance minister said, adding there was no major case of graft in the past year.

“Our target for next session of Parliament is passing the land bill,” Jaitley said, touching upon the contentious piece of legislation that stalled proceedings in the budget session following protests by the Opposition.

Talking about Modi’s foreign tours, he said the PM visited to 18 countries in one year. “Our diplomacy has created a new place for India,” Jaitley said.

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