New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s crack team of economic ministers led by Arun Jaitley in finance began the Herculean task of arresting price rise, reviving investor confidence and boosting growth. Jaitley, who has also been given the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, pledged to contain the price rise, restore the confidence of investors in the economy and promote growth while keeping the fiscal deficit under check.
New Telecom and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad made the right noises on retrospective tax, which has been severely criticised by industry and foreign investors, and promised a stable fiscal regime to lure overseas investments.
Apart from Jaitley and Prasad, some ministers holding economic portfolios are first-timers with no background of handling high-profile assignments.
After taking charge, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman reaffirmed the BJP’s stand of not allowing foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail, but said her government will take steps to boost exports and create jobs. Chartered accountant Piyush Goyal, now in charge of the warring coal and power ministries, vowed to end electricity shortages as he looked to develop synergies between fuel supply and power projects. He also holds the renewable energy portfolio. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan hinted at keeping the common man’s interest in mind while deciding on issues such as natural gas price hike and fuel price de-regulation.