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More focus to fight against black money in 2015: Jaitley

Calling for measures to increase the flow of funds in the market, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Sunday also asserted that the new year would see the government tackle the scourge of black money, both domestic and that stashed in offshore accounts, with greater focus.

“The next few months will witness an increased focus by the government to fight black money both within and outside the country,” Jaitley said in a Facebook posting on his 62nd birthday.

“If we succeed this will add an additionality of resource for the national economy,” he added.

“First major decision by the present government after taking over the reins of power in May 2014 was to constitute a Special Investigating Team (SIT) to implement the decision of the Supreme Court on large amounts of money stashed abroad by evading taxes or generated through unlawful activities,” the fianance ministry said in a statement earlier Sunday listing its major achievements in the seven months of the NDA rule.

“Additionally the liquidity in the market has to be encouraged and improved,” Jaitley wrote, echoing calls from industry for the Reserve Bank to ease liquidity in the money market.

Industrial activity, measured in terms of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), registered a negative 4.2 percent growth during October as compared to a 1.2 percent decline in growth during the corresponding month of the previous year.

Industry’s pitch for rate cuts and economic reforms has become sharper with factory output slipping further, even as retail inflation eased to a historic low of 4.38 percent in November, official data showed this month.

Setting out his priority as arresting the slowdown in growth and radically improving the investment climate, Jaitley said: “The government in the past few months has undertaken several reforms. More are to follow.”

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