Free Press Journal

India becoming more aspirational than politicians: Jaitley


Arun Jaitley

Mumbai: Terming the recent Parliament session as ‘virtually wasted’, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said policymakers and “obstructionist” politicians must gauge the public mood before taking a position on reforms. “India is becoming more aspirational than probably some of its politicians,” he said, while giving example of an “almost unprecedented” urge shown by he people of the country when reforms were stalled during the recently concluded monsoon session.

“It is this mood of the country which will have to be gauged by policymakers and those who seem to be obstructionist in policies before they plan and conceive their future steps,” Jaitley said here at a function to launch a Fund of Funds for startups.

“I wish to share a recent example when we had a virtually wasted session of Parliament last month. Ordinarily, the governments have been cautious of the steps for reforms, because conventional politicians believe there is also a political cost involved in this.

“But, it is almost unprecedented what I saw — a huge urge and reaction was there across India, which was evident in the public opinion, online and on TV, as to why the desired steps that Parliament was supposed to take were not being taken.

“I think in recent history, a mood for the government to take positive steps has never been so positive, as the kind we have seen in the last few days,” Jaitley said.

The Finance Minister further said the quality of governance has not matched the aspirations of the people and with the economy’s growth potential till now and the NDA government was trying to change the same.

He also said there is a need to the ecosystem to transform India into a manufacturing power. “There existed a gap between policy making and India’s potential till now and people were asking why the desired steps were not taken in Parliament,” Jaitley said. Stressing on the need to create jobs in man facturing and services sectors, he said India’s biggest competitor in manufacturing space, China, was facing high wage issues and this could be a ‘silver lining for India’.

He also said that SMEs were not responsible for rising bad debt of banks and MUDRA Bank will bridge the funding gap for SMEs.