The global economic situation, state of agrarian sector and domestic investment would be the major challenges
before the government in the coming year, finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Saturday.
Highlighting the BJP-led NDA government’s achievements in its first year, Jaitley said the government would focus on increasing the growth rate, which would ensure resource mobilisation for welfare schemes, as well as the social sector.
Addressing a news conference at the party headquarters, the finance minister highlighted “restoration of credibility of the Prime Minister’s office” as one of its major achievements.
According to Jaitley, his government is not worried about the high expectations of the people, which, according to some political observers, led to disappointment over the government. “Expectations only will make the society aspirational. There should always be aspirations. Aspirations and expectations of the people should always be a pressure on parties like the Congress, which have an anti-growth and anti-development position,” the finance minister said.
“We are proud of our performance in one year. The past one year has restored the credibility, dignity and stature of the Prime Minister’s post. In our government, the last word belongs to the PM and that’s how it should be,” Jaitley said, adding that the BJP government has also replaced crony capitalism with liberal policy-based governance and left no place for lobbying.
Speaking at length on the social sector programmes, Jaitley denied criticism that the Budget has cut down funds for key education and health sectors, claiming that the NDA government’s insurance and pension schemes would ensure financial inclusion of a larger section of people. “We want to ensure money flow, for which increase in the growth rate is necessary.
Only an increase in resources will ensure funds for welfare schemes and social sector,” he said.
The finance minister also admitted that the party in government would have to keep aside some of its ideological positions. Referring to FDI in multi-brand retail and its core ideological issues such as abrogation of Article 370, he said: “Our views remain the same, but governance brings responsibility, so that continuity has to be maintained.”