Finance minister Arun Jaitley held a press conference on Tuesday wherein, he spoke at lengths about how India has been the world’s fastest-growing large economy for the past three years.

Speaking about the reviews of the economy in the past few weeks within the ministry and the current economic situation, he said, “We will appropriately respond to the situation as it develops.”

Economic Affairs Secretary S.C. Garg, Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa and Department of Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar made presentations during the one-hour long conference.

The major announcement was by Mr. Kumar. He said the Union Cabinet had approved a massive recapitalization plan for public sector banks (PSBs) worth Rs. 2.11 lakh crore. Of this amount, Rs. 1.55 lakh crore would be raised through recapitalization bonds. Another Rs. 76,000 crore would be available from budgetary support and raised through market borrowings.

On being asked about being satisfied with the GST collections, Jaitley said that the response of traders towards registering for GST has been tremendous so far. He also said that between 2008 & 2013, public sector banks engaged in indiscriminate lending.

Taking a dig at Rahul Gandhi’s recent comments on calling the GST as Gabbar Singh Tax, Jaitley said that those who are used to 2G and coal gate will have a problem with a legitimate tax system.

When asked about the opposition’s decision to celebrate November 8 as a black day, he said that if anyone wants to celebrate November 8 as a black day, they can happily do so.

Speaking about the current slowdown in the generation of jobs, Jaitley sounded optimistic and said, “There was no authentic data available on demonetization and its impact on job loss. By giving a push to MSMEs, one of our main aims is the creation of new jobs.”

-with inputs from the Indian Express.


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