Mumbai: Indicating central government is getting ready for altering fuel subsidy policy radically, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley said, “In present policy even people like me are entitled to get benefits of subsidy on diesel, cooking gas and kerosene but question is, do I need it and do I deserve it?"
Jaitley who also holds defence portfolio was in the city on Saturday to attend the function to dedicate largest indigenously built destroyer INS Kolkata to the nation. He also addressed the gathering of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers at a separate function, on the topic of ‘National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government’s vision for India.
If we tell people upfront and clearly, about the necessity of these hard decisions for growth and job creation, I am confident, people are willing to understand. However our conduct in the public life should be such that, people don’t doubt our intentions, Jaitley added.
Jaitley further said, “I am not ashamed to say, NDA government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is pro-business, in fact to be pro poor one has to be pro business. The pro business policies of government can only boost the economic activity and higher economic activity can bring the revenues required to finance pro poor schemes."
Justifying NDA government’s decision to scrap planning commission and replace it with new body, Jaitley said, “Planning commission was a requirement of command and control economy but over the years, shape, size and character of Indian economy has changed and the new body should reflect these new economic realities."
It may have been necessary, in fifties and sixties to direct the state governments, how they should spend, scares national resources but that is no longer a requirement. Our economic policies should reflect regional aspirations and state governments should have freedom to decide, how they want to spend their share of national resources, he added.
Criticizing previous Congress governments’ economic policies Jaitley said, “seventies and eighties were wasted decades as far as Indian economy is concern, had we started process of economic reform back then, we had not have to blush with envy, when we talk about China’s progress."