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Jaitley lauds GDP growth, says job creation is on track

New Delhi, June 18: In yet another long blog, Finance Minister and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Monday lauded the fourth quarter GDP growth of 7.7 per cent saying the future looked much brighter than the past. “The fourth quarter result of GDP data showed a phenomenal 7.7 per cent growth rate and has established India firmly as the fastest growing global economy. This trend, according to experts, is likely to continue for the next few years, he wrote. “With structural reforms like demonetisation, the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the enforcement of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), we had two challenging quarters,” Jaitley said adding that “those who predicted a two per cent decline in GDP growth have been conclusively proved wrong.” On job creation Jaitley said: “An analysis of the data released clearly shows that the construction sector is expanding by double digits. It is a job creating sector. Investment is increasing. Domestic investment is also increasing. The FDI is at an unprecedented level.”

He said the IBC had unlocked value in non-performing assets. “Fixed capital formation is growing. Manufacturing is expanding. We are spending huge amounts on infrastructure creation. Expenditure on rural projects has increased in a big way. The social sector schemes, more particularly the financial inclusion programmes, have created a wave of self-employment. Each one of these is a high job creating sector,” he asserted. He said if India remains a tax non-compliant nation, both Centre and state government would have very little to spend. They will borrow more and spend less. “Demonetisation, GST, digitisation, Aadhaar and the anti-black money measures are leading to gradual formalisation of the Indian economy.” Talking about tax collection, Jaitley said: “We have reached 6.86 crore income tax return filers last year. The number of income tax returns post demonetisation show a 25 per cent growth. Even the corporate returns have increased by 17 per cent.” He said that GST, after a few weeks of its implementation became problem free, and was leading to higher tax collection. “With higher revenues, the Government has been able to spend more on infrastructure, rural India and social sector schemes and yet maintained fiscal prudence and keeping the fiscal deficit on downward glide path,” he added. (IANS)

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