Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said India needs economic growth of 8-9% if it wants to eradicate poverty. According to Jaitley, this is the only pace at which the GDP can bring the millions of people living below the poverty line into the green. Jaitley was answering questions at The Economic Times Global Business Summit when he made his statement, Livemint reported.

At the event, he was also questioned about the Goods and Services Tax Bill, which has been a bone of contention between the ruling and Opposition parties in the country. Jaitley said he hoped the Congress would put aside its objections and back the bill, which seeks to create a single set of taxes for goods and services. It was the Congress government that had introduced the bill when it was in power in the country. “I hope they are flexible and see the rationale behind passing GST,” he said.

The Central government is expected to announce its annual budget next month.