We need to improve quality of politics, avoid populism: Jaitley

Kolkata, Jan 29 (IANS) Laying stress on improving quality of politics and avoiding policy diversion in the form of populism, union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday hit out against those opposing the government’s reform measures in parliament, saying they were “hurting India’s credibility”.

“Those who play games in parliament, must eventually realise that they are not only stalling the growth process of the country, but actually hurting India’s credibility,” said Jaitley, delivering the inaugural Suresh Neotia memorial lecture here.

He said India needed to speak largely in one voice on maintaining the growth momentum so as to give out the right signals that the country is capable of achieving the goals it has set out to achieve.

“So whenever in the next session (of parliament) important legislations – be it direct tax reforms or indirect tax reforms – they come up, of whatever importance they are to growth of the economy, it’s important to establish the country’s credibilitya we have to maintain that momentum of growth.

“Therefore it is extremely important that on this issue india needs to speak largely in one voice,” he said.

Jaitley asserted India had the potential to achieve a growth rate in excess of the current 7-7.5 percent and called for improving rural demand and faster growth in manufacturing.

“Therefore we have to move in a direction in which these demands expand and economic activity expands,” he said, also adding that to achieve these objectives, the quality of politics has to go up.

“We need to really concentrate on two important factors – one is improving the quality of politics. World’s largest democracy can’t function unless it has a high level of politics.

“Secondly we need to avoid policy diversions… populism is a policy diversion.”

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