While addressing an interactive session on Vision 2020, organized by the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Kolkata, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said: “politics of growth obstructionism is not permissible”.
He further added “the last session of the Parliament was disappointing as the maturity of political wisdom was put to test during the period.” "I do believe it is (8 percent and above growth) achievable... if we take right steps in the right direction. In order to achieve it, it is extremely important that we open ourselves for investments," Jaitley said at Indian Chamber of Commerce event.
Earlier the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said 25 crore families could be brought under financial inclusion by the Jan Dhan Yojana alone. Inaugurating the Bandhan Bank, the first commercial bank from Eastern India to get RBI clearance since independence, Jaitley said 17.5 crore bank accounts have been opened in Jan Dhan Yojana scheme so far.
Jaitley said at the launch of Bandhan bank in Kolkata the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) leader promised the central government's cooperation to the Trinamool Congress-ruled West Bengal.
"... The party to which I belong (BJP) and the party (Trinamool Congress) which rules the state are strongly opposed and that probably will continue. But in terms of development of the country and the state, the political difference will not matter, and we will fully cooperate in the development and growth of West Bengal."
"With the cooperation between the Centre and the state, we will work together to advance the growth rate which eventually enables us to bring prosperity," Jaitley said.
"What is most important is the birth of a Bengal entrepreneur, which is of utmost importance for the revival and growth of the fundamentals of Bengal," he said.
In this context, the Union Finance Minister cautioned the new Bank to keep their focus to serve the weaker sections of the society unchanged, most of whom are among the 75 lakh customer of Bandhan Financial Services.
Speaking on the Social Security Schemes, he added that expansion of these Schemes will help the banking segment grow. The MUDRA agency, he mentioned, has so far been able to finance the unfunded section of the society and it will continue to play the same role.
Bandhan, the new born member of Indian banking industry has started operating today with 501 branches all over the country. The bank is beginning its operations with 1.43 crore accounts, 10,448 crore loan and 19500 employees and already has a presence in 24 states, said Shri Chandra Sekhar Ghosh, the Managing Director and Founder of the Bank.
The Union Finance Minister spoke at length on various aspects of the economy and assured that Corporate Tax will be gradually reduced to 25 percent over the years. Advocating the need of introduction of GST, he pointed out that West Bengal has lent its support to the new regime and the state will benefit from it.
Identifying the priority areas of the government, Shri Jaitley said, “a large amount of Rs. 50,000 crore will be allocated for the irrigation sector which is very crucial for the growth of agriculture. ”
The minister said while the global situation might not be very promising, India could have an opportunity if it gets its fundamentals right.
He iterated the government's objective of bringing down the corporate tax from 30 percent to 25 percent over a time period.
"I will bring down the rate of corporate tax from 30 percent to 25 percent even though the (prevalent) rate is 30 percent the effective rate is 22. The reason is there are an as large number of exemptions," he added.