New York: India has its "hands full" in bringing about structural changes and implementing key reforms to boost economic growth, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said and hoped that the country will be able to improve its growth this year from the 7.6 percent achieved last fiscal.
Outlining the direction forward for the Indian economy in his address at the Asia Society here yesterday, Jaitley said the country still requires a lot of structural changes and the government has taken steps to ease processes, make the business environment easier and bring in greater transparency into the system.
Jaitley expressed hope that the bankruptcy law would be approved over the next few?weeks and said the government "is in the final stages" of passing a law that deals with commercial indebtedness.
The government has also changed arbitration laws, amended some of the "onerous provisions" of the Companies Act and will bring down corporate tax to 25 percent over the next couple of years.
On indirect taxes, he said India is in the "last stages" before the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is approved by the Parliament and then with supporting legislations, it actually gets into implementation.
"I think we have all our hands full, the next couple of years bringing about each one of these structural changes. In addition to this, two significant directions which I have followed are increased expenditure in infrastructure and in rural India.
"These are the two areas which were lacking and these appear to be the focus area. That probably will be the direction of the economy in the next few years," Jaitley said.
He said the world at the moment still faces serious challenges and India cannot "immune" itself from most of the challenges.
He however expressed hope that the country will be able to register improved economic growth this year as compared to the previous fiscals.
"Notwithstanding that we have consistently even in the slowdown environment grown by about 7 percent, 7.2 per last year, 7.6 this fiscal which ended a few days ago and hopefully this year we could improve on that data," he said in his address on 'Make in India- the New Deal' hosted by CII and the Asia Society Policy Institute.
Jaitley underscored that while India has done fairly well in an environment of global economic challenges, it has the potential to grow even faster.
"I have always believed that given by global standards in a slowdown environment, India is doing significantly well. But given by our own standards and our expectations of being able to grow faster, eradicate poverty and transform into a developed country, we probably can do a little better," he said, adding that steps that are being taken in this regard to help India register faster economic growth.