New Delhi, Jan. 4: Asserting that the amendment of Land Acquisition Act will revive infrastructure growth, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said the new act that was passed by the previous regime had stalled development.
He further said that the government has taken a number of bold steps like Goods and services Tax (GST).
He also said that the present government has taken necessary steps to change this act so as to revive infrastructure growth.
Jaitley further said that risks have to be taken. He said that the positives are that there is an element of decisiveness in the new government and there is large popular support for that.
"We have taken steps to increase both FDI and the domestic investment to give the big push to manufacturing sector. Excise duties collection was diverted towards to highway Projects to meet their financing requirement. Banks have a major role to play in the financing of infrastructure. Growth in power and other infrastructure sectors needs to be revived," said Jaitley.
He was speaking at the two day "Retreat for Banks and Financial Institutions" called "Gyan Sangam" at National Institute of Banking Management (NIBM), Pune, Maharashtra which was graced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Raghuram Rajan, Governor, Reserve Bank of India, Rajiv Mehrishi, Finance Secretary, Dr. Hasmukh Adhia, Secretary, Department of Financial Services (DFS) and Dr. Arvind Subramanian, Chief Economic Adviser, Regulators, Officers of the Ministry of Finance, top management of all Public Sector Banks (PSBs), Insurance Companies and Financial Institutions (FIs) also attended among others.
The Finance Minister further stated that this was a gathering of important people in the banking industry who have assembled at a crucial stage of our economy.
"The actual situation is that we are trying to bring about transformation in the Indian economy. In the past the rights were being conferred on people one after the other for which we did not have the resources. The result was a slowdown. Risks have to be taken. The positives are that there is an element of decisiveness in the new government and there is large popular support for that. We have taken steps to increase both FDI and the domestic investment to give the big push to manufacturing sector. Excise duties collection was diverted towards to highway Projects to meet their financing requirement. Banks have a major role to play in the financing of infrastructure. Growth in power and other infrastructure sectors needs to be revived," he said.
Jaitley stated that both the Prime Minister and he would like to be acquainted about the challenges faced by the PSBs.
"They would like to know the answers to the questions as to how to get out of the stress created by NPAs and how credit growth can pick up. Government is willing to reconsider the rules. Government is open to bold decisions for professionalization of the management and autonomy in decision making, rewarding merit, and relooking at the recruitment process at the top management level of PSBs. The government was ready to protect commercial decisions so as to avoid the delay in good decisions," he added.
The Finance Minister further said that financial inclusion through PMJDY was taken up in a mission mode. "Most of the inactive accounts will become operational with the introduction of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).These account holders will become symbol of the identity of the cashless system," he said.
In the forenoon Session, Dr. Hasmukh Adhia welcomed Jaitley and apprised him of the proceedings of the retreat so far. He informed that the discussion groups have been asked to suggest the important action points for the short term (0 to 12 months) and medium term (13 to 36 months) separately for banks and policy makers. These six groups would then be combined into 3 presentations by the CMDs before the Prime Minister.
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