FM Arun Jaitley says Indian economy undergoing challenges, not crisis

Asserting that India can achieve faster growth, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said it was incorrect to call economic “challenge” as “crisis. Hitting out at critics, the Finance Minister said that all indicators show an upward trajectory, and the economy is going to improve in next few years to achieve a respectable figure. “You don’t look at one quarter, you look at the pattern across the period,” Arun Jaitley said in an interview to CNBC-TV18.“Everybody wants faster growth. There is a challenge (to achieve that) but is incorrect to call it a crisis. The economy is doing reasonably well. We can do much better,” Arun Jaitley said. He reiterated that the slow GDP growth in the first quarter was due to the transient impact of the structural changes and GST destocking, and all indicators are improving since then.“I inherited an unacceptable level of fiscal deficit. In the past two years, we had a very good glide path. The direction of the discipline that we have maintained will continue and we will be rewarded by the market,” he added.On GST rates, Arun Jaitley once again said that the government would have more flexibility when the revenue will go up. Earlier, he had said that once the country becomes revenue neutral under the GST, the government can think about lesser tax slabs. “We have space for improvement, eventually once we become revenue neutral (under GST), to think in terms of bigger reforms such as lesser slabs, but for that, we have to become revenue neutral…,” the Finance Minister had said.Earlier, at the Harvard University during his week-long visit to the US Arun Jaitley refuted that the private sector is not expanding. “Expansion of private sector is taking place. The last quarter, which was otherwise not encouraging, indicating that the investment graph itself has turned positive. A lot of investment is taking place,” he said.