Continuing violence, a major challenge: Jaitley

(Last Updated On: September 8, 2016)

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said that containing the violence in parts of the country is one of the major governance challenges for the government.

The Finance Minister was responding to queries on the NDA’s prospects in the 2019 general elections and the impact of various Assembly elections on the pace of reforms, at The Economist India Summit in the capital.

“I don’t think any of the reforms which we are undertaking are counterproductive in the sense of their appeal to the popular opinion. I think India has become far more aspirational and the advantages of reform and growth also travel to the common person. I think what’s important in Indian politics is to blend reforms with social sector schemes so the advantage enrichment of the States is also passed on to the people, who need that advantage,” the Finance Minister said.

 Stressing that the government was performing ‘quite well’ and had been able to run a ‘clean, effective’ administration, Mr. Jaitley said there were two major governance challenges ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. “We have started the process two years ago for our social sector schemes that help in poverty eradication and we will need to continuously improve upon them. A lot of schemes we have put in place from crop to health insurance for weaker sections of the society,” he said.

“A lot of our attention and resources also get spent on national security. Whatever we are spending excessively is money going from the development process also. Even as a political party, we give primacy to national security… and therefore, the violence in some parts of the country is something we have to make sure doesn’t take place,” the Minister added.

While the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax is the Centre’s top economic priority, the Minister said that putting banks back on track and continuing the resolution of stalled projects were also major concerns for the government so that infrastructure spending goes up along with rural demand.

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