Union minister Arun Jaitley said on Monday that the tag of the world’s fastest growing economy is likely to stay with India for some more years. He said the 7.7% economic growth recorded in January-March 2018 had “firmly” established the tag.
In a Facebook post, Jaitley said that “those who predicted a 2% decline in the economic growth” after demonetisation and reforms such as the Goods and Services Tax had been proved “conclusively wrong”.
This was an apparent dig at former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s economic growth prediction. “A distinguished predecessor of mine feared that he may have to live his future in poverty,” Jaitley said. “We have enabled every Indian to be a part of the world’s fastest growing economy. The future looks much brighter than the past. This trend is likely to continue for some years.”
Former finance minister Yashwant Sinha had also said that the government’s policies would make people poorer.
Jaitley also reacted to his predecessor P Chidambaram’s suggestion that the government had room to cut the price of petrol by Rs 25 per litre. “He never endeavoured to do so himself,” said Jaitley. “This is a ‘trap’ suggestion. It is intended to push India into an unmanageable debt something which the UPA [United Progressive Alliance] government left as its legacy.”
Responding to concerns over job creation, Jaitley said that the manufacturing and the construction sectors were expanding, foreign direct investment was growing and social schemes were encouraging self-employment.
He added that the government had “established a very strong reputation for fiscal prudence and macro-economically responsible behaviour”.