Finance Minister Arun Jaitley gave a keynote address at the inaugural Republic Summit wherein he touched upon the topic 'Silver bullet for the economy'. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in conversation with the chairman of Goenka Group Sanjiv Goenka and Republic's Editor-In-Chief Arnab Goswami spoke about a number of issues. When Sanjiv Goenka asked Mr Jaitley:
"We have many many reason to thank this government. We have seen many bold events. Recently I read that there is a case for reducing interest. What's your view on this?"
To which Mr Jaitley replied:
"The Principle economic advisor had said Government always want it to be done and therefore...it's within the domain of the RBI and I can tell you that this government's interest rate have not been an issue of any major consequence between the reserve bank and us for the simple reason that when we inherited a high inflation and after the first one or two policies the Reserve Bank itself, and in all fairness to them, with every policy, started to bring it down in (.25) and basic points or so. It's only when the US rates started hardening that they increased it. Therefore, the Reserve bank followed a pattern. Today, many people in India say that the interest rate in India, considering the inflation, is close to 2.3% last month. Even if you assume it to be around 3% now. The real interest rate, the difference between the policy rate and the inflation rate is a bit too wild. So, I am sure the RBI will take into consideration next time they take the policy".
Furthermore, Mr Goenka asked: "In the last four years, we have seen many changes. We have seen bold steps, we have seen great steps. I would like to hear from you about the principle achievement of this government and what you think remains to be done next time when your government remains in power?"
"If you compare the situation, and I am slightly digressing from the barrier that the honourable Prime Minister put in his speech and I had the opportunity to see it on the TV, were we on May 26, 2014, words used for India globally were that we were suffering from policy paralysis. Change, reform and improvement had also become impossible. Internationally respected journals and commentators had put us as the part of 'Fragile 5'. Our fiscal deficit had even touched 6%. Our current account deficits on 4.5-5%. UPA 2's 5-years combined inflation was 10.4%. The days of double-digit inflation was not a decade ago, they were just four year away", Finance Minister Arun Jaitley replied.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered the keynote address at the inauguration of Republic TV Summit, speaking on the theme of Surging India. PM Modi then went onto highlight the growth of India in the past few years and underlined the importance of Surging India - the theme of the annual summit of Republic TV.
"Surging India - the two words - are the expression of 130 crore Indians. These are the feelings, vibrations which the world is witnessing. In the world society, India's growth is moving ahead in a very fast manner. India's image in front of the world is getting better with each passing day," he said.