Indian economy moving ahead despite global headwinds: Jaitley

Dubai: Notwithstanding “adverse global circumstances” and headwinds, Indian economy is still managing to keep ahead, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said. Addressing a gathering of Indian businessmen here last evening, Jaitley said that economic crises earlier would leave an impact once in 10-15 years but now they are far more frequent.

“Under these circumstances India has to find it’s own level,” Jaitley, who arrived here on Sunday on a two-day UAE visit, said. “Despite adverse global circumstances, India is still managing to keep ahead. We have our agenda full in terms of reforms and investment into key areas,” he said adding that the government has opened up more sectors for investment. “You cannot be continuously inward-looking,” the Finance Minister said.

“One aspect of India, which is adversely affected, is our exports because of shrinking global economy. The headwinds are against us. We have also had bad monsoon for two years,” Jaitley said. He said that an interesting change is taking place in India with the expansion of aspirational class. “We are in a situation which is opposite to many parts of the world. We have a surplus human resource which is creating huge Indian diaspora around the world,” he said. In the next 20 years, the spread of people of Indian- origin is going to hugely increase around the world, he noted.

“They are becoming good residents of these counties and are also happy at India’s growth. The assertion and visibility of Indians is on the rise and will continue to be so,” Jaitley said. The Finance Minister said low oil prices have created a favourable environment for the Indian economy as it helped to absorb the loss faced by oil companies and kept inflation under control. He said that low oil prices also enabled the government to rationalise subsidies.

“It has enabled us to absorb the loss that our own oil companies were facing because of future purchases. It has also kept inflation under control, which, in turn, has helped the Reserve Bank to ease up the rates. “It has also enabled us to increase the cess around fuel which has been diverted for infrastructure creation,” he told reporters.

Oil prices, at the levels they have been during the last few months, created a favourable environment for the Indian economy, he said. He said low oil prices also means effectively transfer of wealth from the producing nations to the consuming nations. The Finance Minister’s visit here was aimed at wooing UAE investors with various attractive investment opportunities that India provides.