Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday defended policies of the government, saying that there’s no anti-business sentiment. He said that the Narendra Modi government has eliminated the need to line up for environmental clearances and licences.
“…in fact, I feel left out now as nobody visits me in north block. They need not come to the north block at all, it is an ideal system,” Arun Jaitley said at Hindustan Times Leadership Summit 2018.
The finance minister said that now businesses do not need to go to Udyog Bhavan for clearances, as processes have been made easy and happen on their own. “So, that’s a pro-business development,” he added. Arun Jaitley also expressed confidence that foreign direct investment inflow will not be affected.
Arun Jaitley said that India will continue to be the top destination of FDI despite the global situation being adverse. He did not, however, rule out some “transient problem” in foreign portfolio investment. He, once again, reiterated that fiscal prudence is this government’s one of the top priorities.
He said that India’s fiscal deficit has gradually fallen from 4.6% to 3.3% of the GDP this year and expressed confidence that good direct tax collections will help the government in achieving the target.
On CAD, the finance minister said that there could be more steps, besides the five announced a few days ago. The government recently relaxed norms for Masala bonds and raised import curbs to rein in pressure on the CAD. As per Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data, India’s CAD widened to 2.4% of the GDP in the first quarter of the FY19.