Indian economy needs multiple growth engines: Jaitley

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Davos, Jan 21 (IANS) The Indian economy needs some multiple engines of growth, while the focus for the government now is on reviving private investments, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday.

“We have a very noisy democracy, but I am finding that there are more people who want to support growth and the others are a very minuscule minority. Any economy needs multiple engines of growth,” he said at a session here on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum annual meeting, organised jointly by the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Boston Consulting Group.

“In the past we had fewer such engines and we need a few more. Public investment is one that we are doing. We are concentrating on infrastructure and for the first time in history, we have been able to rationalise the subsidies,” Jaitley said.

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“India is a noisy democracy but I am sure that we would be able to get all of them through. Some measures have got delayed but none of them have actually hit a complete roadblock,” he added.

In relation to the proposed Goods and Services Tax Bill pending in the Rajya Sabha because the ruling NDA lacks the requisite majority to push it through, Jaitley said te GST legislation would go through as the numbers in India’s upper house of parliament will change favourably soon.

“We are asking people from all over the world to become partners in India’s infrastructure growth story,” he told the audience.

“I have always said, the current rate of 7-7.5 percent is not our real potential and we have potential to add 1-1.5 percent. There is still head space that we have and I am sure we would be able to reach that,” he added.

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In a video message earlier on Thursday sent to a global conference in Singapore, the finance minister said India is changing its taxation laws towards greater stability and predictability in the tax regime and trying to settle previously pending disputes.

“It has been our effort in India to gradually transform and change most of our taxation laws, put to rest various disputes and issues which have been pending and make sure that the scope of discretions is eliminated and there is a greater degree of stability and predictability as far as taxation laws are concerned,” Jaitley told an international meet on “Doing Business Across Asia: Legal Convergence In An Asian Century”.

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