The Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is currently on official tour to Washington DC to attend the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank and other associated meetings.
He is accompanied by Dr. Raghuram Rajan, Governor RBI, Mr. Shaktikanta Das, Secretary Economic Affairs, Dr. Arvind Subramanian, Chief Economic Adviser and other officials.
The Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley yesterday held a bilateral meeting with United States Trade Representative Ambassador Mr Michael Froman.
The Finance Minister affirmed that the sustained engagement and rapidly increasing trade and investment partnership between India and the US are key elements of the bilateral engagement between the two countries and India looks forward to strengthening and deepening this economic engagement.
Arun Jaitley emphasised:
India's keenness in early conclusion of a Totalisation Agreement with the United States. (As per Industry estimates, Indian professionals have contributed more than US$ 25 billion to the US Social Security during the last decade, without being able to retrieve their contributions)
India's concern over the hike in the H-1B and L1 visa fee which is discriminatory and in effect, largely targeted at Indian IT companies.
Arun Jaitley on steering India towards growth:
The Finance Minister while speaking on the theme of 'Steering India towards Growth ', at an event organised by 'Carnegie Endowment for International Peace' in Washington D.C. yesterday on the very first day of his US trip said that, "Indian economy is estimated to register 7.6% growth in FY 2015-16, notwithstanding contraction of global exports and two consecutive years of shortfall in monsoon."
He said that amid weaker outlook across the globe, India's experience of strong economic growth, comfortable price situation, low current account deficit, and adherence to fiscal recovery path have projected it as an outpost of opportunity for global investors.
Speaking further on the occasion, the Finance Minister emphasised on India's economic recovery and the role of various initiatives taken by the present Government in achieving it.
Elaborating on the large number of initiatives taken by the Indian Government, the Finance Minister said that what distinguishes the present Government is this Government's emphasis on decisiveness, consistency in policy direction and transparency in functioning.
He also talked about reforms in taxation, Make in India programme, increase in FDI limits, expediting the process of granting clearances to new projects, steps taken for ease of doing business, rationalisation of expenditure by making petrol and diesel prices market linked and promoting financial inclusion by linking Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT) to Aadhaar.