India needs to grow faster to catch up: finance minister
06 Feb 2016
Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said that the government would do everything to preserve the growth momentum of the Indian economy. He said the country also needs to grow even faster to catch up with advanced economies in terms of living standards.
In fact, he said, India has the potential to grow even faster provided investments keep pace.
''We have yet to realise our full potential for growth,'' the finance minister said, adding, ''we want better infrastructure, better private sector and banking sector among others in order to achieve the global standards.''
Delivering the inaugural address at the India Investment Summit 2016 in the national capital, Jaitley said that India needs huge investments in the infrastructure sector including in roads, highways, flyovers, railways, power renewable energy, oil and gas, ports and airports, among others, and these provide long-term opportunities to investors both within and outside the country.
The finance minister also launched the logo of the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) on the occasion. He also highlighted the various measures taken by the government to facilitate investment in the country and to insulate the economy from global economic crises.
He said the whole administrative set up in the country, including the central and state governments as well as the local level administration are working towards `ease of doing business' and to bring about greater transparency in government processes and procedures.
The finance minister said that the government is working on a faster dispute resolution mechanism so that no project is held up.
As regards tax reforms, the he said the government is working towards rationalisation of indirect tax regime and soon the goods and services tax (GST) law will become a reality.
Addressing the summit, Shaktikanta Das, secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), said that the government will strengthen the National Infrastructure and Investment Fund (NIIF). Das said commercial viability will be the guiding principle of NIIF, adding that in the year of 2016-17 and thereafter, NIIF will be the major driving force for investment in India's infrastructure.
Further, he said, that NIIF can emerge as a major vehicle to bring lot of foreign investment for infrastructure in India.
Earlier, the Indian delegation led by finance minister Arun Jaitley held a bilateral meeting with UAE official delegation led by Sheikh Hamid Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, managing director of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) on the sidelines of India Investment Summit 2016.
India continues to be a bright spot in turbulent times and an attractive destination for foreign investment, Das said, adding that with some of the biggest reforms in FDI norms, the government is committed to preserve the economic strength of the nation.
Anjuli Chib Duggal, secretary, Department of Financial Services (DFS), SBI chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya and senior officials of finance ministry and other participating ministries, state governments and representatives of various sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and institutional investors - both domestic and international – participated in the event.