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India has potential to grow faster: Jaitley
Feb '16
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said that India continues to be one of the fastest growing economies in the world, but there is still potential to grow at a much faster pace, according to an official press release.

Ahead of the Budget, Jaitley's comments came during the opening remarks at the first meeting of the Consultative Committee attached to the Finance Ministry.

He said that the world economy is passing through an uncertain and fragile situation.

“All the major economic organisations including IMF have predicted low growth for the world economy in the coming year. These developments have implications on India's economy as our exports are also affected,” he said.

However, he added, that silver lining is low international commodities and oil prices which in turn has helped in better macroeconomic situation of the country.

The Finance Minister said that the agriculture growth in the last two years has suffered mainly due to insufficient monsoons. The highest ever amount was given to the States for drought relief during the current financial year 2015-16 and more incentives will be given to agriculture sector for increasing agriculture production and productivity, he said.

Jaitley also said that loans worth over Rs. 90 crores have been already disbursed in the current financial year so far to more than two crore micro, small and medium enterprises under MUDRA Scheme.

“We will be able to contain the fiscal deficit as per the target fixed for the current financial year 2015-16,” he said.

The Finance Minister said that this was also the first time that the real expenditure amount was higher than the Budget proposal. “This year we have spent more but still, we will very well manage our deficit targets,” he said.

He said that during the financial year 2016-17, the Central Government has to make provision for about Rs.1.10 lakh crore in order to meet the liabilities on account of implementation of Seventh Pay Commission recommendations and One Rank One Pension (OROP) Scheme.

Among the suggestions given by the Members of Consultative Committee was that the forthcoming budget may give relief to industries to set-up sewage and affluent treatment plants in order to keep the environment clean. This is of particular importance to the textile industry that has been flagged as a major polluter of the environment. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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