New Delhi, Oct 24: With top officials of his department sitting beside him, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley held a press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday and described India as the world’s fastest growing large economy.

“India has remained world’s fastest growing large economy for the past three years. The Government has decided on the steps needed to sustain the growth momentum,” Arun Jaitley said.

The finance minister’s press conference has been called at a time when the BJP government is receiving flak from various quarters over economic slowdown. Former Union Ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie have openly criticised the Modi government over steps like demonetisation and GST.

Highlights:

  • There have been lot of discussions and reviews of the economy in the past few weeks within the ministry. When results of the GDP of the first quarter came out then I had said that we will be ready for the response: Arun Jaitley.
  • India has remained world’s fastest growing large economy for the past three years. The Government has decided on the steps needed to sustain the growth momentum: Arun Jaitley.
  • GST has been the biggest reform, along with other ones like Demonetisation and the battle against black money: SC Garg, Secretary, DEA.
  • Effective and targeted Government spending is the main priority of Government: Ashok Lavasa, Finance Secretary.
  • The biggest component of road building program, the BharatMala program. 34,800 km of roads to be built: Ashok Lavasa.
  • About 2000 km of coastal roads will be constructed in first phase of BharatMala project.
  • Government plans to develop 2100 km coastal roads to boost tourism. (ANI Photo)
    Government plans to develop 2100 km coastal roads to boost tourism. (ANI Photo)
  • The Government has also approved Public Sector Bank (PSB) capitalisation plan of Rs 2 lakh 11 thousand crore. The move is likely to boost employment opportunities also.

  • Bold step needs to be taken by the Government to recapitalise banks. Public Sector Banks have adequate lending capacity now, post demonetisation: Arun Jaitley.
  • Need to step up public expenditure. Measures today will boost infrastructure spending in a big way: Jaitley.

Earlier this month, Arun Jaitley chaired a meeting of GST Council following which he announced a various measures aimed at providing some relief to the small and medium businesses.

Jaitley had announced that businesses with annual turnover less than Rs 1.5 crore will be allowed to file their GST return quarterly. He also said that the exporters will get e-wallets to weed out the problems faced by them after the implementation of GST. He said after the GST Council meeting that exporters will be given a notional amount in the e-wallet.

Tax on a host of goods and services were also slashed. Stationary items like paper clips and allied products were brought to the 18 per cent tax slab. The rate on man-made yarn was slashed from 18 to 5 per cent. Parts of diesel engines now cost less as tax rate was reduced from 28 percent to 18 percent.