Saturday, Jul 19, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
Proposed by the Cabinet Minister, Arun Jaitley, and supported by his colleague, Arun Shourie the Finance Minister did not attend the deliberations as he was away in Mumbai the resolution pointed out that India's Gross Domestic Product in the purchasing power parity was "competing for the third place'' in the world with Japan, after the United States and China. India's was among the fastest growing economies in the world, and Mr. Jaitly pegged the expected growth rate this year to 7 per cent.
Blaming the previous Congress regimes for having created an economy of shortages, he pointed out that in several areas it was a surplus economy today. "Even for our daily staple cereals we depended on imports,'' Mr. Jaitly said releasing the resolution to the press. Applauding the recent Government packages for various sectors of the economy and specific sections of society higher interest rate for those over 55-years-old, lower interest rate for farmers, tax benefits for the small-scale and powerloom sectors and so on the resolution noted that the service sector in India was poised to grow to form the "core of the present and future economic activity".
Mr. Jaitly said India should focus on education to offer knowledge resources. The younger demographic profile of India, compared to the West, was also an added advantage.
The resolution defended the Government's disinvestment programme and it was pointed out that the direction was forward even if in specific cases there was delay. "We are moving in the direction of disinvestment, not towards nationalisation,'' Mr. Jaitly noted. What was conceded by Mr. Jaitly was tardiness in energy sector reforms. But projects related to roads and ports had gone forward. The resolution also said the growth in the economy had created over 73 lakh jobs in 2000, over 78 lakhs in 2001 and over 82 lakhs in 2002, contrary to the Congress' allegations.
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