India is the only economy growing at the rate of 7-8% and has the ability to sustain this level of growth for the next decade and more said Union finance minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday. “The single most important factor taking place in India is the exponential growth of the middle class. That’s the reason why consumption is up and we have a model of a consumption-led growth. This phenomenon will keep the growth process going on and it will keep percolating down,” he said.
He was speaking at the launch of a book ‘The Path Ahead’, edited by the chief executive officer of Niti Aayog, Amitabh Kant.
The finance minister said just as the Chinese ability for low cost manufacturing, is a fact that impacted the world, India’s impact will be on the strength of its consumption. “The middle class will be larger than [the population of] any other country except China and therefore investors will be compelled to come here,” he said.
Taking a pot shot at the Opposition that has been critical of some of the government’s policies such as the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and demonetisation, Jaitley said there is a need to “smash obsolete ways of thinking” and move ahead instead of “listening to obstructionists.” He said the government’s efforts have been to take tough, quick decisions.
“If you start listening to them (obstructionists) you start blinking and then you will never be able to reform. When we were implanting the GST, last year, there was a demand to defer it for at least three months. At the meeting of the GST Council, an opposition party leader said if that is done then it will be deferred for two years,” he said.