"We have restored the credibility of the economy", says Arun Jaitley

"We have restored the credibility of the economy", says Arun Jaitley

Briefing media on the NDA's third anniversary, Jaitley said every time India took steps to ease tension, Pakistan responded by orchestrating attacks at army bases in Pathankot and Uri. There was impact of global factors as well. That was possible because the government revised growth upward in the first quarter, from 7.2 percent to 7.9 percent, as well as the second quarter, from 7.4 percent to 7.5 percent.

Reacting to the slowdown in GDP growth in March quarter and full fiscal year 2016-17 and role of demonetization, Arun Jaitley said that multiple factors are responsible for it. "It is fairly reasonable level of growth by our own standard and very good by global standard", he said. I see no reason that there would be adverse impact of GST on GDP. "GST by itself should add to growth", he said, responding to a query on whether the switchover would dampen growth.

The Minsiter said GST will usher in a revolution in taxation administration.

"So the analogy between GST and Demonetisation is totally off".

"GST is in its last leg of implementation". It is like a tax cut which will both reduce prices and increase consumption.

On cattle trade ban, which has triggered protests in states like Kerala, West Bengal, the finance minister said rejected criticism that the Centre was infringing upon states' rights on the cattle issue.

"Decisions in the council are taken by consensus - so far we have maintained that", he said. In Srinagar meeting of the Council, ministers of nearly all states who spoke to me were absolutely clear on maintaining the July 1 date.

Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said that the tax department's Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojna (PMGKY) to nab black money holders did not elicit good response. "In the next two years - 2018-19 and 2019-20 - we will get to the 8 per cent growth trajectory", he said. After GST, now they say it is jobless growth (sic). "In the informal sector, there is no survey (of jobs created)".

Two years of poor harvests, due to inadequate rainfall, also hurt the agricultural sector, which accounts for more than 13 percent of the economy and provides work for about half of the country's 1.25 billion people. "Since there is no data available on the informal sector, so the talk of jobless growth is going on".