finance minister says country can drive economy forward
WITH China experiencing an economic slow down, the world is looking for “other shoulders to rest its growth on” and India can be a very powerful driver, the country’s finance min- ister Arun Jaitley said on Tuesday (31).
Addressing “The Future of Asia” conference organised by Nikkei Inc in Japan, the visiting minister said while India’s growth rate has moved higher than China, “China will always re- main a major economy”.
Jaitley, on a six-day visit to Japan, said no one country could replace another because “the world has enough space for major economies to emerge”.
“We have a lot of infra- structure deficit and expenditure still to undertake and I think all that is going to be a very powerful driver of economic growth in India,” Jaitley said.
He noted 40 per cent of the world’s foreign direct investment (FDI) now comes to Asia, whose growth rate is three times faster than that of the developed world.
Jaitley said: “Whether it is the ASEAN, SAARC, RCEP or TPP… India always had a very important and power- ful message for Asia.”
He promised Japanese investors “more structural and market-oriented reforms” as well as stepping up infrastructure spending to speed up economic growth beyond the current 7.6 per cent.
Jaitley also said India would reform the tax structure to make it simpler, predictable and stable.
“We have opened out more sectors in the economy. While opening out to both international and domestic investments, we re- moved the unnecessary conditionalities, we eased the process of doing business in India. It is far easier than what it was years ago,” Jaitley added.
Japan Overseas Infra- structure Investment Corporation (JOIN) CEO Takuma Hatano, who met Jaitley, said the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) would play a role in India’s infrastructure development. JOIN is a government-private sponsored fund in Japan that specialises in overseas infrastructure investment.