Observing that India needs to create an environment for cyclic investments and ease norms of doing business, union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley pointed to the ongoing global slow growth as an opportunity for the country as investors are eyeing its market.
If the union minister, during his address at the two-day Bengal Global Industrial Summit, assured the Mamata Banerjee government of strong support in the state’s industrial growth, the senior BJP leader later, at a party programme, hit out at the ruling Trinamool Congress for “obstructing parliament”.
“We have to create an environment, where we not merely attract investment, but we also promise profitable returns of that investment. Our entire environment has to be such it ensures that investment will lead to greater investment,” Jaitley said at the summit that saw participation of business captains from India and abroad.
The union minister said investments would trigger economic activity which will in turn boost growth and lead to job creation. He also called for easing out norms and rules governing investment to boost the industrial landscape and lead the growth.
“Many parts of the world are slowing down today. And therefore, global investors are looking at us,” said Jaitley asserting the manufacturing and infrastructure sectors will drive the country’s growth and address the under-employment issue.
Pointing to India’s strong federal structure notwithstanding the “political differences”, Jaitley extended the centre’s strong support to Bengal’s quest for industrial growth.
“…I am here to assure you the central government will strongly stand behind the state government in order to support each one of the rupees and dollars that you invest in the state,” he told industrialists.
He also asserted that Bengal will be a major beneficiary of the coal auctions and steps were being taken to reduce the financial burden on the state.
“I have already given my commitment with regard to the CST compensation so that their fiscal position is eased,” the veteran leader said.
Stressing that India has reached an era of cooperative federalism, Jaitley called for centre-state cooperation in ushering development.
“We are also living in an era of competitive federalism, with states vying with each other in drawing investment”.
Jaitley said the centre has given assurance to the states that as a result of the implementation of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) none of them will lose out on revenue.
The minister’s speech dwelled on development, investment and economy, with particular reference to Bengal, but simultaneously it was also loaded with subtle criticisms and messages directed at the Banerjee government.
Regretting that many of the big industries, which operated from Bengal for ages, had now shipped out, Jaitley said the challenge was how to re-establish the eastern state as an industrial centre.
He took on state Finance and Industries Minister Amit Mitra, who earlier in the day, highlighted that the state’s growth figures were double than that nationally.A
Jaitley pointed out that share of manufacturing in the state’s growth was small which affected job creation.
Later addressing a party programme in Howrah district, the BJP leader attacked the Trinamool for obstructing parliament calling it a political response to the arrest of some of its leaders in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam.
“They accepted and retained these corrupt members and they said since some of our members are trapped in the chit fund scam, we will not let parliament run, as a political response,” Jaitley said about the Trinamool that spearheaded the opposition’s protests against the central government’s bid to pass the Insurance Bill and the Coal Bill in the Rajya Sabha.