New Delhi, Nov 5:
Economic reforms are a continuous process and are not about one big idea Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said Wednesday.
“Reform is the art of the possible. There is a lot that has to be done. I am quite satisfied with the beginning we have made but it’s a long journey,” Jaitley said at a Q and A session at the summit inauguration.
The finance minister said he hoped to have the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill passed in the winter session of parliament.
Jaitley highlighted the government’s seriousness to reform by citing the ordinance on coal blocks deallocated by the Supreme Court.
“Discretion in the hands of the state has almost disappeared. We are also planning to introduce similar reforms for other minerals,” Jaitley said.
As per this ordinance, while state-owned organisations like NTPC and state electricity boards will be allocated blocks according to their requirements, actual users of steel, cement and power from the private sector will bid for the blocks.
“Thereafter there would be commercial mining if the government so desires,” he added on the cancelled coal blocks.
Jaitley had said the aim is to conduct the whole process in a fully transparent manner through e-auction, without any discretionary powers of the government in the matter.
India recorded a GDP growth of 5.7 percent in the first quarter ended June, but industrial output and investment has not yet picked up in a sustained way.