Finance minister Arun Jaitley today called for Reserve Bank's support to give a big push to the economy through a reduction in lending rates, at a time when inflation, especially food inflation, has moderated in the last few months and global fuel prices have also come down.
''Therefore, if RBI, which is highly professional organisation, in its wisdom decides to bring down the cost of capital will give a good fillip to the Indian economy,'' the finance minister said.
Delivering the keynote address at the Citi's Investor Summit: ''India - Poised for Higher Growth'' in New Delhi today, the finance minister said the government has taken a series of measures, including taxation reforms, amendments to insurance Act as also procedural changes in land acquisition Act, to tackle various challenges being faced by the infrastructure sector in the country.
These measures would facilitate faster implementation of infrastructure projects in the country, he said, calling for large investment from domestic and international investors in the country's infrastructure sector.
He said that many more such measures are in offing in the near future, adding that he has been in discussions with members of opposition parties to make necessary procedural changes in Land Acquisition Act, in order to avoid delay in the implementation of the infrastructure projects.
Jaitley further said that various sectors have been opened for foreign direct investment in the infrastructure sector, especially defence and power sectors, adding that the government through its budget has laid down a direction in which the economy is likely to proceed to restore the investors' confidence.
He assured investors that there will not be any movement of economy in the contrary direction.
Giving details of various economic reforms that are in the pipeline, the finance minister said he expected the insurance amendment bill to be passed in the forthcoming winter session of Parliament. He said that he is in touch with the Parliament select committee in this regard and will try to persuade it to give its report at the earliest.
As regards GST, the finance minister said he is in touch with various state governments and most of the contentious issues have already been resolved. He said there are two areas, including liquor and petroleum products, where the states want to have taxation authority - two states want entry tax and octroi to be kept-out of the purview of the GST.
The finance minster said that all these issues will be sorted-out soon. He said he will also apprise the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers about the draft Constitution Amendment Bill on GST before introducing the bill in Parliament.
Meanwhile, Jaitley said the targets fixed for divestment in the current financial year are quite ambitious although he hoped to achieve the target or at least reach near the target. He said that road shows in this regard are being held in many parts of the world.