Pranab Mukherjee claims India is still going strong

New Delhi, May 16: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday defended India’s growth story, and said the government would like to create an atmosphere for investment.

Stressing on austerity, Mukherjee said: “I am going to put in some austerity measures. We need to focus on implementation of projects. I will bite the bullet on subsidy when I know it will not end in a fiasco.

Stating that the situation is tense, he said: “It is a complex situation, we cannot ignore it. In 2008, we had to announce fiscal stimulus package. We announced 1,86,000 crore, a little more than 3 percent of GDP at that time. When looking at chart of GDP in Q1, and way it was going since October no one knew where it would stop. We were able to stop deceleration of growth and made it up in next two years.”

“Indian growth story is intact. Today we are disappointed, ‘why 6.9 per cent GDP growth’, because we have seen the success of the growth story for quite some time. cannot pass on the responsibility, I can’t be Don Quixote,” he added.

Delivering his reply in the Rajya Sabha on the Finance Bill, Mukherjee ascribed the all in markets to Greek crisisThe rupees fall arising out of euro, whether Greece will be revised, whether the package devised by ECB in which IMF will provide support, that has been put in question. Entire Asian market is affected,” he said.

Mukherjee also said that the coalition government has advantages and disadvantages.

“I have to be pragmatic, realistic, keep my eyes on the ground, Finance Minister can’t have luxury of emotion or ideology. I have to adopt what is in the best interests of the country,” said Mukherjee.

“Bengal would have received relief if FRBM had been passed. They may get debt relief if Finance Commission says so. Debt-stressed states were asked to incorporate FRBM in their legislature. West Bengal did it very late so they got it in only one year,” he added.

Mukherjee also expressed his worry about exports.

“I am worried about exports. I am concerned about the sovereign ratings by agencies, would like to have higher credit rating. I feel bad why half of CEOs in a poll don’t want to invest in India, but the other half want to do so,” said Mukherjee.

“DTC (Direct Tax Code) does not necessarily have to wait for Finance Bill, needs Parliament’s approval. We have made progress on GST, but can’t blame states, they have their own way of functioning, their own compulsions,” he added.

Mukherjee had earlier on Tuesday said the Direct Taxes Code (DTC) Bill will be introduced in the monsoon session of Parliament.

Mukherjee said he would go through the Committee’s recommendations after the completion of the budget session.

The Finance Minister emphasized on collection efforts to deal with the present situation. (ANI)