Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday hinted at more economic reforms in the future, saying that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government “may have missed the bus the last time” but will not this time. She was referring to the ruling coalition’s lack of numbers in the Rajya Sabha in the previous term, which often proved to be an obstacle for the government, PTI reported.
Speaking at the Express Adda event organised by The Indian Express, Sitharaman said, “I am sure we will now show the commitment for reforms [to] happen fast. That is where the mandate given to Modi 2.0 will help.”
In the General Elections held earlier this year, the BJP retained power with an even stronger seat share in the Lok Sabha than in 2014, managing to reach the halfway mark on its own.
Sitharaman refuted the idea that the economic slowdown was one of the reasons why the BJP could not capitalise on the nationalism card in recent Assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana. She said: “It is not possible for any government, be it at the Centre or in the states, to say, ‘give me your vote on nationalism and I do not want to talk about economic issues’. Is the voter going to be indulgent enough to say ‘alright, the prime minister doesn’t want to talk about economy so we won’t talk about the economy’?”
She said the economy was a topic in every election, and “the voter sees there is a genuine attempt to build [the] economy”, The Indian Express reported.
Sitharaman said the government was working on some reforms for the real estate sector, particularly for home buyers. “In real estate, we have started working on some proposals,” she said. “We will have an offer for home buyers. Soon we will come to a stage to offer some solutions to them.”
The finance minister said the government was also working on supporting senior citizens in the wake of the decline in interest rates. She added that cooperative banks in the country will soon come under tighter regulation under the scope of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949. “We will bring amendments to ensure that once you are calling yourself a bank, you come under the Banking Regulation Act,” Sitharaman said.
At another event, held to mark the silver jubilee of the National Stock Exchange, Sitharaman said the real estate sector “requires a lot more attention because the sluggishness which prevails there has got to be addressed”, Mint reported. “The government is very keen and is working very clearly together with Reserve Bank of India to see how best we can make necessary tweaks to the existing blocks to help the people who are affected in this one sector which I have not really completely addressed till now,” she said.
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