Jaitley skips stimulus talk

Finance minister Arun Jaitley has said that he never talked about any stimulus package to boost the economy.

By TT Bureau in Washington
  • Published 16.10.17
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FOCUSED: IMF managing director Christine Lagarde with Arun Jaitley during the IMF/World Bank annual meetings in Washington on Saturday. (Reuters)

Washington: Finance minister Arun Jaitley has said that he never talked about any stimulus package to boost the economy.

The media has spoken about it and "you should ask" them on it, Jaitley said when asked whether the government was considering a massive fiscal stimulus package.

"I have not used that phrase (fiscal stimulus). I said, we will respond to situations and your fraternity translated the word respond as meaning stimulus. So you are the ones who should be answering and not me," the minister told reporters here in response to a question.

His remarks came amidst an increased speculation over a possible fiscal stimulus which can go above Rs 40,000 crore after six successive quarters of dip in the economic growth, which slid to a 3-year low of 5.7 per cent in the April-June quarter.

Noting that his government had inherited a huge fiscal deficit just three-and-a-half years ago: 4.6 per cent, the minister said that gradually India has been moving on a glide path, which will continue.

"What are the requirements on the economy? How steep is that glide path, You can decide on a year to year basis," he said in response to a question.

He also said that the RBI was a mature institution and it knows what to do.

"They know that inflation management and growth both have to be balanced. RBI has an expertise of its own. They take their decisions accordingly," said Jaitley, who is here on a week-long visit to the US to attend the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

Asserting that Indian IT professionals coming to America on H-1B visa are not illegal economic immigrants, Jaitley has said the US must decide appropriately while taking a decision on its visa policy. PTI

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