“We can do still better, which in a sense is not a bad thing to happen. To be restless, to be impatient is a sign of wanting to do better.
As per the latest forecast by the IMF and the World Bank, India is projected to grow at 7.6 per cent in the next two years, which makes it the world’s fastest growing emerging economy. “I think, with the kind of economic activities and investments that we have planned over the next several years it (growth) is not likely to go down,” Jaitley said. And it might have an impact only if unforeseen events do not happen, he said. “I think with the kind of investments, both domestic and international, that we are getting, a reasonable amount of growth will always be there. If growth returns to the world, then you would probably move up. Structural reforms like GST can only add to that,” Jaitley said. Noting that the world is moving slowly, the Finance Minister said nobody seems to be sure how long this situation would continue. There is no specific global response, even though there are generalities to fight the situation. “In India, we have to learn to live in an environment where the world is going to move slowly. And the world is not going to be very supportive of growth. The global environment is not very supportive of growth,” he said.
Since India is growing much faster, as compared to the rest of the world, it has become natural recipient of a higher level of FDI, he added. “Good monsoon, pay commission, reasonable growth rate, domestic demand including rural demand has picked up,” Jaitley said, adding that structural reforms in India today, in terms of direction and taking decision, are easier than ever before.
Increased expenditure in infrastructure and investment would keep growth growing, he said on October 8.
During his four-days visit starting Oct 6,Jaitley had a series of bilateral meetings with his counterparts from key countries,including the US,Britain and China.He also had bilateral talks with finance ministers of Iran and neighbouring countries Bangladesh,Bhutan and Sri Lanka. He was accompanied by Urijit Patel, Governor, RBI; Shaktikanta Das, Secretary, Economic Affairs and Arvind Subramanian, Chief Economic Advisor. Das held a bilateral meeting with United States Treasury Under-Secretary Nathan Sheets. Both sides took stock of the work done on technical cooperation on National Investment and Infrastructure Fund, public debt management and municipal bonds and agreed to expedite progress on these issues.
Jaitley held a meeting with World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim here to suggest exploring innovative financing solutions as India was looking at an increased capital support from it. He also emphasised that the World Bank Group should work together with the member countries to explore innovative financing solutions.
The meeting held on Oct 5 acknowledged the long-standing and mutually beneficial relationship between the World Bank Group and India, especially the former’s in the six priority areas identified for the multilateral development bank’s assistance.
Later,Jaitley interacted with several US State Department officials during the reception hosted in his honor.