Arun Jaitley puts GDP growth at 7.6% in FY16 

Arun Jaitley puts GDP growth at 7.6% in FY16 
Highlights

Pegging India\'s GDP growth rate at 7.6 per cent for the fiscal 2015-16, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said it is much less than its potential and expressed hope for better numbers next year.

Says growth is much less than India’s potential, expresses hope for better numbers next year

Canberra : Pegging India's GDP growth rate at 7.6 per cent for the fiscal 2015-16, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said it is much less than its potential and expressed hope for better numbers next year.

Jaitley also said that India earlier had a bad reputation of not being the best place to do business, but the governments at the Centre and states have made considerable headway in reforming the system.

"As the current financial year ends today, we hope to finish this year at 7.6 per cent growth rate which is much less than our potential. We are hopeful that we will do better than this next year,” he said.

Our current account deficit is well under control, inflation rate is under control. In last 16 months, the wholesale price index has been negative. Consumer index has been in the range of 4-5 per cent and interest rates are slowly coming down," he added.

"We had to reform our systems. There is a considerable amount of ease which has come in and we have moved up in global rankings," Jaitley said while delivering a KR Narayanan Oration series lecture here on the topic of 'New Economics of Financial Inclusion in India'.

The Narayanan Lectures are hosted by the Australian National University in honour of the former Indian President KR Narayanan. The annual oration is delivered by eminent Indian thinkers and the past speakers include Raja J Chelliah, Jagdish Bhagwati, UR Rao and P Chidambaram.

In his speech, Jaitley further said, "We had a fairly aggressive tax system which we have rationalised." Stressing on the importance of GST, Jaitley said its implementation could further add to the growth story of India.

Elucidating on long term vision for India, Jaitley indicated that there were very challenging tasks for the ruling government to bring and integrate rural India with similar facilities with urban India.

"Our main thrust of expenditure now would be development of rural areas and infrastructure sector," Jaitley said. "We have 700,000 villages in India and by 2019 we intend each village to be connected by a regular pucca road," he said, adding that the allocation for rural road works was increased by almost three times this year.

Jaitley also talked about various initiatives taken by the Modi government like Swachch Bharat, Aadhaar and Jan Dhan. Meanwhile, Finance minister Arun Jaitley called on Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Melbourne as he highlighted the potential of the Indian economy to grow beyond the current rate of 7.6 per cent and the large scope for increasing economic exchanges between the two nations.

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