New Delhi, Feb 29: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said in an exclusive interview to Anandabazaar.com that to carry out an economic reform in India, one has to keep in mind the huge rural society that the country has.
Replying to a question on whether the Narendra Modi government would finally bring in a big ticket reform, Jaitley told veteran journalist Jayanta Ghoshal that a welfare state can't ignore its social responsibility. It can not be expected that we suddenly shift gears to Margaret Thatcher-like reforms from a stand of social responsibility. According to him, there is no conflict between social projects and economic reforms.
"We need to eradicate poverty and also reforms in productivity. We also need heavy industry and production," he said.
To a question that the government has failed to pass any bill and also withdrew the land bill, Jaitley conceded to the fact that his government has failed to pass a number of bills because of the NDA's numerical weakness in the Rajya Sabha. He said the the Centre has decided to pass on the issue of land aqcuisition to th states since there is no consensus on the matter.
Jaitley also said India is doing good despite the fact that the economic situation is not healthy across the world. He asked everyone not to be cynical in judging India's economic growth for the speed of growth for the country could be slow at times.
When Ghoshal asked whether he has become softer now compared to his aggressive stand on economic reforms earlier, Jaitley said he never had plans to be a hardliner on economic issues.
The Union finance minister said he is satisfied with his government's functioning, adding, however, that he would be happier if the Goods and Services Tax Bill is passed.