Double digit growth to be India’s new normal: Jaitley

Rajya SabhaAmid China’s economic slowdown, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has raised the bar for the India Story by aiming at new normal double digit growth for Asia’s third largest economy and underlined that it was necessary to meet the country’s multifarious developmental challenges.

Addressing the day-long conference on ‘Deepening the US-India Commercial Partnership: The First Year of the Modi Government’ in New Delhi on April 16, Mr Jaitley said, “India has the potential to make nine to ten per cent its new normal in the years to come.”

The conference was organised by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based top American think-tank, where the finance minister spoke about India’s large young population, and how they are posing challenges before the country. “India’s own normal in terms of its growth rate has to target anything close to a double digit. India growing at five per cent, six per cent or even seven per cent is not an India that is going to face up this challenge (of large young population),” he stressed.

He listed out a slew of important steps taken by the new government to tackle these challenges, like giving more financial powers to states, increasing investment on infrastructure, and focusing on manufacturing. He said that the roadmap has been created to open the door for investment. When both domestic and international investors pool in, the next step will be to create a system to ensure investment in India becomes more attractive. “By and large it is a welcome move in India. There are very few sectors now, almost insignificant, that remain closed. Everything has been opened up,” he said signaling to India’s insurance, defense, railways and real estate sectors.

Referring to recent projections made by international financial bodies like ADB, IMF and the World Bank of India’s future growth rate, Mr Jaitley said this is not our real potential; when all the latest reforms and its net impact is considered, “it is capable of “taking us close to what we thought we can never reach and today there is a realisation that that is a realisable target.”

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