Q. No.6 You wanted to push economic reforms at fast pace. But some key reform bills like Land Acquisition and GST have faced problems. Do you think obstacles posed to such reform measures is hurting the country? What will be your message to those opposing these measures?
Ans. Both the GST and the proposed Land Acquisition Bill are beneficial for the country. The core essence of these Bills should be appreciated by all the parties keeping aside political motives. Long term interest of the nation should be foremost. The fact that the States have agreed to the GST design, shows the maturity of our federal system and the GST Bill has already been passed by the Lok Sabha. It is a matter of time before these laws are passed.
Q. No.7 If the reform measures are not pushed fast, what kind of a message will it send to foreign investors particularly since you have been making utmost efforts to bring maximum investments?
Ans. One of the peculiarities of Delhi is that the term ‘reform' is associated only with passing of laws in Parliament. In fact, the most important reforms are those needed, without new laws, at various levels of Government, in work practices and procedures. We have initiated a number of major reforms. These include decontrol of diesel prices, direct transfer of cooking gas subsidy, enhancement of FDI limits, revamping of railways and many others. The truth is that reform has actually been pushed very fast and in fact as a result FDI has already witnessed an increase of 39% in the period April 2014 to February 2015 compared to the previous year.
Q. No.8 What further reform measures are you planning in the future?
Ans. The success of the steps that we have already taken and the positive response of the people throughout the country to our actions in the first year have encouraged us to do even more. Our focus will be on P2G2, i.e. Pro-active, Pro-people Good Governance reforms. Another aspect we will emphasize and strengthen is that the State and the Centre are one team which has to work together for reforms to be effective.
Q. No.9 You have already opened up a number of sectors for FDI. What are the other areas that you may consider opening up for FDI in the future?
Ans. The measures already taken have increased the attractiveness of India as an investment destination and confidence has improved. Wherever there is high employment potential and wherever we have strong local talent, for example, in research and development: those will be the areas of focus for FDI. We have created the National Infrastructure Investment Fund. This is a major step which will increase the flow of foreign investments into all infrastructure sectors, without needing separate sector-by-sector approaches.
Q. No.10: With regard to economic policy, is RBI on the same page as the Finance Ministry? I am asking this question because there are sometimes remarks by RBI Governor which indicate a disconnect with the Finance Ministry.
Ans: I am surprised that an important and credible media agency like PTI is drawing an incorrect inference based on remarks made in different contexts. RBI has its functional autonomy which the Government and the Finance Ministry always respect and preserve.