India’s economy is poised to take off at a much faster pace, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters on Thursday, asserting that the defeat of the ruling party to Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi elections 2015 will not slow down economic reforms.
Asia’s third-largest economy grew an annual 7.5 percent year-on-year in the quarter through December, higher than 7.3 per cent growth recorded by China in the latest quarter, after its statisticians changed the way they measure it.
New Delhi expects the economy to grow an annual 7.4 per cent in the year ending in March faster than a revised 6.9 per cent a year earlier.
“We are now poised to take off at a much faster pace,” Jaitley said.
In his first comments after the near-whitewash of his party in the Delhi polls, he said the government was determined to go ahead on the path of economic reforms.
“The fact that four (state assembly) elections have been won and one has not been won is absolutely no ground for believing that there will be any slowdown on the path which we have undertaken,” he said while addressing a joint press conference with US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew at the end of 5th Indo-US Economic and Financial Partnership meeting.
Jaitley’s comments assume significance against the backdrop of experts raising questions whether the government would resort to populism in the wake of electoral reverse.
The kind of reforms that the government has been undertaking, he said, would bring in investment, generate jobs, improve the quality of life of people and also help in alleviating poverty.
Jaitley is scheduled to present his first full budget for 2015-16 on February 28 which among other things will unveil government’s strategy to boost economic growth.
By bagging an unbelievable 67 out of the 70 seats in the Delhi assembly elections, the less-than-two-years-old Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), led by the stop-at-nothing Arvind Kejriwal, left the ruling party coalition at Centre – led by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – with just three and gave a strong reason for the Narendra Modi-led Union government to reflect and quickly re-earn its spurs.
Ever since its spectacular victory in the May Parliament elections, the BJP notched power in Haryana, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and emerged the second largest party in Jammu and Kashmir.
Since coming to power in May last, the government has taken a slew of economic reforms, especially easing of the foreign investment norms.