Finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Friday there is no finishing line for reforms and India still has miles to go to bridge a massive infrastructure deficit.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Friday there is no finishing line for reforms and India still has miles to go to bridge a massive infrastructure deficit and eradicate poverty despite remarkable progress since the liberalisation of the economy in the 1990’s. Huge investments are required in sectors like health, education, rural infrastructure and irrigation, Jaitley lamented, barely one month after the introduction of the goods and services tax, touted to be the country’s biggest indirect tax reform. The finance minister was speaking at the launch of a book, titled India Transformed – 25 Years of Economic Reform, edited by former Reserve Bank Of India governor Rakesh Mohan.
“There’s no finishing line as far as reforms are concerned and I think India still has to cover a huge distance,” Jaitley said. The finance minister said given the more favourable global environment, India needs to improve upon its GDP growth rate and this elevated rate of economic expansion has to sustained over a reasonably long period of time. This is “because you still have large number of people living below the poverty line, you still have infrastructure deficit, you still need a lot of investment in health, education, in rural India and irrigation”.
However, he also spoke about some of the achievements of the BJP-led NDA government, including steps to boost financial inclusion and foreign direct investment, and a big push to digital economy. Jaitley said the liberalisation of the economy in 1991 was a key defining moment for India.