Finance Minister Arun Jaitley addressed the Republic Summit 2018 on the topic 'Silver bullet for the economy', speaking on a range of things his government has done to improve the economics of the country. In response to a question on the ordinance of Ram Mandir, Mr Jaitley said:
"The government has not taken any decision in this matter. My party President has already said that the matter is before the court and at this moment I need not say more than this. But I can tell you when you say--here I have a suggestion to offer and you may perhaps have to consider and friends in the fraternity may have to consider-- you see a very large part of India wants a solution to problems. They want to look ahead and move ahead. If you look at the larger society, people with extreme kind of views caste based or religion based or even extremist terrorism and Naxalism etc--these numbers are few. These people get disproportionate coverage because rather than a sober comment an extreme comment sounds rather attractive for a television viewer and then there is also a temptation of showing them more. Let me ask you a question. Can the left extremist win any election in this country? But they get a disproportionate coverage as far as media is concerned because the alternative view is always to be projected. Therefore I think that the people in India will always find a solution to this kind of problems. One need not be extraordinarily worried."
"I would have loved it of the issue would have been settled long ago. So, any issue which creates a certain amount of anxiety or tension in the society really should be expeditiously decided. There are cases which court decide upon expeditiously and some which are prolonged. But that not having happened I as a lawyer understand the challenges that the court has. The steps that the government must take in this matter are steps what the government will seriously consider. It will reflect on the need, legality and constitutionality on various 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".