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FY16 divestment target higher; rates can go lower: Jaitley

Speaking at Growth Net Summit, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Wednesday said the government is trying to maintain the fiscal deficit roadmap. He added India is on the growth path with flurry of activities lined up in defence, highways and railways.

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Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Wednesday said the government has stepped up divestment target for FY16 and is trying to maintain the fiscal deficit roadmap.

Speaking at Growth Net Summit, he touched upon subjects such as strength of rupee, investments in manufacturing, agriculture, telecom auction, GST etc and added that India is on the growth path with flurry of activities lined up in defence, highways and railways. With slowdown in China, the FM is keen to project India as an investment destination and believes manufacturing has to be the driver for growth.

Speaking about budgetary support to highways, the FM informed a substantial part of the road cess has been passed on to the highways on lower oil prices. “Have inherited a mess in legacy of highways,” he quipped adding “there is a need for a proper methodology to exit stuck projects, and to put a life line into them.

On easing of rates, Jaitley asserted he envisages lower rates for India, sees more cuts in future and expects banks to act in a prudent manner. However, “we don’t pressurise banks to cut rates,” he said.

While talking about the autonomy of the CSO that releases key economic data, Jaitley said both the FM and PM are not privy to such data until they are released. “I would be satisfied ‎if we grow at double digits,” he said.

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