Seeking Opposition’s cooperation in passing key reform bills, Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today said the government is also willing to hear out the industry and hoped they will start saying “a lot of things are happening on the ground”.
The comments assume significance as they follow criticism by eminent banker Deepak Parekh that impatience has begun creeping in among businessmen as nothing has changed on ground in the first nine months of the Narendra Modi-led government.
Incidentally, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had yesterday skirted questions on Parekh’s remarks and rather said that the government was being criticised for being too fast.
On the other hand, Power Minister Piyush Goyal had rubbished Parekh’s criticism and wondered whether the banker had any personal reasons for making such comments.
Without making any direct reference to comments by Parekh, who also happened to be very vocal with his criticism of ‘policy paralysis’ during the previous UPA government, Sitharaman today said “the 10 years of lethargy can not be removed in 10 months unless all of us are putting our energy together”.
The Commerce Minister further said that the government is willing to hear from the industry and work on that.
“I am sure from now, you (industry) will probably even say a lot of things happening on the ground. You are the once who are going to be able to speak about it first,” she added.
The Minister said that the government is moving ahead “not just verbally but also trying to show it to you (industry)”.
Citing example of Companies Act, Sitharaman said the government heard all the concerns of the industry on the previous act and made as many as 40 changes.
She also said that the new government “is not in a hurry to perform not because the government is wanting to secure a point but I think the economy has waited for too long”.
“The hurry is because of that. We want to move on different platforms and levels quickly, simultaneously and in a sure footed manner,” she said, adding that it would require lot of effort, energy and following up to the logical ends.
Sitharaman also hoped for a “lot of cooperation” from the Opposition in the upcoming Parliament session to pass pending bills, including those to replace some Ordinances.
“We hope that at least now in the forthcoming session, with a lot of cooperation from the opposition, because it is the economy which needs it.
“It is not for crediting the NDA government, it is more the economy which has been waiting in the wings to bloom in the last 10 years which didn’t happen,” she said here at a function.
The Minister said that the government is committed to bring transparency and simplification in the taxation regime and improving ease of doing business in the country.
“… to see it on the ground, you need the rules changed, you need self-regulation, you need trust between the stakeholders and the government which is willing to be a facilitator rather than a regulator… we are working on all these plans,” she added.