The manufacturing curve has turned for the better and most sectors are indicating positive news, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said at a press conference to highlight the government’s achievements in its first 100 days since being sworn in office. India’s GDP expanded 5.7 percent in the first quarter of FY15, the highest in nine quarters, against a growth of 4.6 percent in Q4 of 2013-14, and 4.7 percent in teh year-ago period. He said inflation by and large was showing signs of moderation and while there could be some impact of deficient monsoons on food prices, there were sufficient stocks.
He also added the steep rise in food prices was a common at this time of the year. He expressed confidence that the Insurance Bill would be passed in the next session of Parliament and that he was hoping to see a positive attitude in some of the principal opposition parties.
He said the government’s ambitious Jan Dhan Yojana has been a success with over 2 crore bank accounts being opened so far till today noon. He added that banks would not bear the burden of the scheme. Jaitley said the situation in the road sector was challenging and that the concerned ministry has been given more flexibility to deal with it.
On the issue of Goods and Services Tax, he said there have been discussions with the chief ministers of West Bengal and Rajasthan, and that the government was serious in paying central sales tax dues to the states.
He said the government will take try to pay the arrears as soon as finances improved. Jaitley however said too many items could not be kept out of the GST chain.