“We will push forward with those reforms which have missed the bus last time,” Nirmala Sitharaman said
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said the government will soon use its strong electoral mandate to usher in the next wave of reforms, and not to miss the bus this time.
Nirmala Sitharaman said the government’s efforts last time were thwarted by the poor numbers in the Upper House.
“…I am sure we will now show the commitment for reforms happens fast. That is where the mandate given to Modi 2.0 will help,” Ms Sitharaman said, speaking at The Indian Express’ ”Adda’‘.
“We will push forward with those reforms which have missed the bus last time, but won’t miss the bus now,” the minister asserted.
When asked whether economics has trumped politics in the recent elections, she it is not possible for any political party, particularly those in power, to delink any subject.
“It is not possible for any government, be it at the Centre or in the states, to say give me your vote on nationalism and I do not want to talk about economic issues.
Is the voter going to be indulgent enough to say ”alright, the prime minister doesn’t want to talk about economy so we won’t talk about the economy”,” she said.
Hitting out at those who blocked government from carrying out reforms in its first term, she admitted that the numbers were limited (in the Upper House) and the country paid the price for that.
She said the manufacturing sector competitiveness is still pulled down by “extraneous” factors such as high cost for land, electricity and also changes in land use, which are beyond the ambit of individual companies, but which the government now wants to ease them all.
“Everything has a long way to go in terms of becoming actually easy to do business,” she said.
With dozens of companies leaving China and opening shops in other emerging countries like Vietnam and Bangladesh following the US-China trade wars, Ms Sitharaman said the government has created a list of potential players who will be tapped and added that some conversations are already on in this regard.
About companies to committing new investments and using the space created by the corporate tax cut for deleveraging, she said it is fine for a corporate to use the space for the purposes it wishes and exuded confidence that over the long-term, they will invest.
“I would not say deleveraging is wrong, if you want to come out of some stress,” she said.
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