Speeding up growth is the best response to poverty: Jaitley

| Updated on: Mar 18, 2016




‘Reforms and poverty alleviation complement each other’

Contending that an “erroneous debate” has been generated on being pro-reforms or pro-poor, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said higher economic growth provides the government with adequate resources to work on poverty eradication.

“Since the last 25 years of reform, there is an erroneous debate, generated by some on whether you are pro-reform or pro-poor,” he said while addressing a Skoch Summit, adding that the two are not-mutually exclusive.

“The best response to poverty alleviation is to grow faster.

The two complement each other.

This is the objective of the current government and it has popular acceptability,” he said.

The Minister further noted that a large number of people have benefited from the economic liberalisation that was started in 1991, and now support reforms.

Pushing ahead Continuing the reform momentum will also help the economy to achieve a higher growth potential, especially in the challenging global economic scenario, he said.

“The idea is to continue on this track, and grow faster and follow reforms, which will ultimately go down to the villages,” he stressed.

Referring to the first four decades since Independence, Jaitley said that India was taunted for its Hindu rate of growth and a number of retrograde steps were also taken in the 1970s that led to the creation of a restrictive regime and “socialising poverty”.

Reforms path This changed in 1991 when then Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao initiated economic reforms. In a veiled criticism of the former UPA government, Jaitley however, said, “The process (of reforms) continued but a few years ago, we were almost going back to a preference for slogans rather than growth.”

Published on January 20, 2018

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