Steps soon to bolster economy: Arun Jaitley

PM Modi to meet Jaitley officials to review economic

PM Modi to meet Jaitley officials to review economic situation on Tuesday

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today once again appealed to the businesses to file their GST returns well in advance. "So 75 per cent waited for the last day", he told reporters after a meeting of the Union Cabinet here.

He also said that he has discussed economy related issues with other ministers, experts and PMO officials and that he is monitoring all economic indicators.

Tuesday saw the Finance Minister holding a two-hour long review meeting attended by Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar, Additional Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister P K Misra, Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia, secretaries of the finance ministry and Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian.

Jaitley said that the government is close to finalizing the additional measures that are needed to revive the economy. But I am not in a position to announce the same in the press conference. He said that an announcement will be made publicly wherever the new package is announced.

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He further said this is a proactive government and it responds to the situation as when warranted.

The ebb in India´s economic fortunes is in sharp contrast from a few quarters ago when it was the world´s fastest growing major economy and was hailed as a rare bright spot in a dim global economy.

After India's GDP dropped to 5.7 percent in the first quarter of the current fiscal year, the government has come up with a formula to rekindle economic growth.

Jaitley, however, expressed hope that the rise in petrol prices is a temporary spike due to the hurricanes in the U.S., which have impacted global refinery supplies.

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"That temporary spike will be limited, as the Petroleum Minister had pointed out", he said.

Commenting that the bulk of investment in the country now is being driven by public investments and foreign direct investment (FDI), the Finance Minister said the public investment is coming from these revenue sources, including Central Excise duties on petroleum products, and that whatever growth is being experienced is due to that revenue.

"You should remember the government needs revenue to run. How will highways be built?" "If public spending is slashed, it will mean cutting down expenditure on social sector schemes", he said, conceding that there was hardly any private investment coming.

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