India has a historic chance to grow, don’t play spoiler: Jaitley

Rajya SabhaWhile a number of key reform bills are stuck in political chess games, the Indian government has appealed to the oppositions not to play ”obstructionist game” and underlined that the country has the “historic opportunity” to grow and attain GDP of 8 per cent, surpassing China.

“This is a historic opportunity where India has a real chance of growing,” India’s Finance Minister ArunJaitelysaid

“The world also sees India as a bright spot. We must use this opportunity,” Mr Jaitley said while alluding to the IMF chief’s projection of an upbeat future for the Indian economy.

“I appeal with folded hands… let politics of obstructionism not go to next stage,” said Mr Jaitley.

While talking about the “historic opportunity”, he asked, “Do we go on this course?

Mr Jaitley’s comments came against the backdrop of a renewed onslaught by a belligerent opposition to stall a spate of legislations relating to second-generation economic reforms, including Land Acquisition Bill, Coal Bill and Mines and Minerals Bills, which are stuck in Rajya Sabha.

Speaking about the other countries’ potential growth, he said that Europe has slowed down, and China’s 7% is now the new normal; Brazil faces challenge and the economy situation suits India. “Even IMF says India will overtake China,” he concluded.

Mr Jaitelyrubbished the opposition’s accusations that the BJP government is pro-rich, as it had earlier proposed a reduction of corporate tax from 30% to 25. He said that he had borrowed this idea from Direct Taxes Code prepared by then Finance Minister P. Chidambaram.

Mr Jaitley defended the idea of opening more sectors for foreign investments by saying that more funds are required to develop infrastructure, create jobs and undertake social welfare programmes.

In a massage to Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India’s central bank, hemade a case for reduction in interest rates, cautioning that the growth rate will otherwise suffer.

He was responding to questions during a debate in Lok Sabha (upper House of parliament) on Appropriation Bill, which was later passed by a voice vote.

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