Arun Jaitley, India’s finance minister. (Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg)

India Needs Decisive Government To Take Swift Decisions, Jaitley Says

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said India needs a strong and decisive leadership at the centre to continue its high growth path and take swift decisions.

Outlining the challenges for India, Jaitley said being a net buyer of oil, a rise in global crude prices adversely impacts the country and hence the economy has to be resilient to deal with it.

“If this path of high growth trajectory is to continue, if these higher growth, higher revenues and higher resources have to continue, better infrastructure objective has to be achieved, India needs a strong and decisive leadership at the centre,” the finance minister said while addressing the annual general meeting of Assocham.

A weak leadership, within days of crisis, could not have handled IL&FS the way the present government did, and therefore a crisis in the making was handled with swiftness.
Arun Jaitley, Union Finance Minister 

Debt-ridden infrastructure financier and its group companies have defaulted on loan repayments, following which the government superseded its board by appointing eminent banker Uday Kotak as its chairman.

Talking about the political challenges facing the country, Jaitley said these are thrown up by unstable coalition and aspiring politicians, who want to acquire the top place.

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“Therefore, today what India needs is not individuals with lack of understanding of policies, lack of understanding of directions or inherently unstable coalition, but a government and leadership with absolute clarity about the direction so that this unique position which the International Monetary Fund refers to as a sweet spot in the world, this sweet spot we continue to occupy for next two decades,” he said.

Jaitley said if India continues on a high growth path, then the country can get rid of poverty and can become a developed country.

“You need a decisive government, you need a government which has a coherent policy and is absolutely clear in the direction you have to move, and you need a government which is not dependent on those who would try to pull the government down by their strategies,” Jaitley said in his video conference address.

Indian economy grew at 8.2 percent in the April-June quarter of the ongoing financial year. It grew at 6.7 percent in 2017-18. Stating that domestic policies of certain countries have spillover effects on India, Jaitley hoped that such effects will not be everlasting and are transient in character.

“As a fast growing economy we have the capacity to face these challenges,” he said. Jaitley said global oil prices have risen on account of “artificial shortages” and it has adversely impacted India. India imports 83 percent of its oil needs.

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