India cannot function with fragile coalitions in future: Arun Jaitley

Written by December 15, 2018 09:00

New Delhi: With the general elections expected to take place within the next six months, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley asserted that going forward, India cannot afford to have “fragile coalitions.”

Addressing an annual gathering of the Federation of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on Friday, Jaitley noted that the need of the hour was to formulate policies that have clarity, directional stability and decisive leadership, and establish a market economy with social consciousness for ensuring equitable growth.

Arun Jaitley, petrol, diesel, petrol price, diesel price
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley 

“The next six months would see a rise in political rhetoric with voices which may not be the expression of the real intent. The need of the hour is continuation of sound policies as against transient populism. The immediate target should be one that spells out the recipe for the next two decades; for an India where further reforms would be the only constant for aspirational people whose attitude is for change and desire for a better quality of life,” he said while addressing members of the industry body.

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Jaitley further said that if the current growth rate and India’s global position is retained, the country will be able to go beyond growth rate of 7-8 per cent. In order to achieve this, however, Jaitley said it is important to identify several unreformed sectors such as state road transportation, railways, dealing with urbanisation, focusing on science and technology and research.

“India has done extremely well in infrastructure areas such as aviation and ports and it must be ensured that these success stories are not converted into challenges for the economy,” he added.

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Amid reports of Urjit Patel stepping down as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor over the central bank’s alleged stifled autonomy, Jaitley clarified that the government was in no way trying to interfere in the autonomy of the central bank.

He further said he was unable to perceive how an elected, sovereign government which flags off issues of credit and liquidity could be construed as infringing on the autonomy of the institution.