After fighting the Lok Sabha elections on the promise of providing quickfix solutions to all economic ills in India, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said that ‘reform is not about one sensational idea’ and it will take a lot of time to rectify the the Indian economy.
Committing to more reforms and eliminating corruption, Jaitley said steps taken by the new government were aimed at creating fair and transparent business environment and ending crony capitalism.
The government was also looking at areas like labour reforms, privatisation of some state-owned companies and improvement of land acquisition laws, the Minister said, while adding that the reforms can’t be just “one sensational idea”.
“You can damage the economy by one bad idea. Retrospective taxation is one bad idea that damaged the economy,” Jaitley said while speaking at the India Economic Summit here.
Recalling the steps taken by the NDA government to deal with coal block allocation problems, Jaitley said, as a result “the element of discretion in the hands of the state has almost disappeared and hence once you take decision of these kinds (it will) eliminate the possibility of corruption, collateral consideration or crony capitalism as you call it.”
The investors, he added, could look for a system “which is fair, not a system on which they have to entirely depend on the largesse of politicians and ministers.”
Similar reforms, he said, would be undertaken for allocation of natural resources and other minerals.
Reforms, Jaitley said, “is a long journey…. Some people expect that the second generation of reforms in India really needs one or two big bang ideas that probably is not the answer.
The Minister said that merely undoing wrongs of past would not cure all our problems. “So we began on a journey and I believe that the pit was reasonably deep. And therefore rectifying it will require a lot of time”.
The Summit is being organised by Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF) and industry chamber CII.