Government will “play by the rulebook” and make sure that absolute standards of probity are maintained, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said as the Opposition continued its attack over the Lalit Modi controversy.

Jaitley also said there is “no question at all” about the Government going on the back foot on this issue, as it has done “nothing wrong”.

“The Government will play by the rulebook and we will make sure that the absolute standards of probity are maintained,” Jaitley told PTI in an interview here.

Asked whether the controversy was creating an impression that some leaders of the ruling party and the Government were siding with corrupt people, Jaitley said, “There is no question at all.”

To a question on the Opposition planning to disrupt the monsoon session of Parliament on the Lalit Modi issue, Jaitley said Parliament is meant to discuss and not to disrupt business.

“We are willing to have a discussion on any subject that the Opposition wants,” he said.

The Finance Minister also said reforms can even take place outside Parliament, but its smooth functioning was important for many other reasons.

“There are also some legislative reforms for which Parliament must function,” he said.

Under attack from the Opposition, Jaitley had yesterday said the authorities would continue to do their job in probing the matter.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj have been facing flak for allegedly helping former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi in procuring travel documents in the UK, a country which he has made his home to avoid legal processes in India.

Modi, 49, travelled to London in 2010 after the Indian Premier League (IPL) got embroiled in allegations of match-fixing and illegal betting.

Dushyant Singh, Raje’s son, has also been under attack over reports that his company received Rs 11.63 crore in investments from Modi in 2008.

The Congress has accused Jaitley of doing a “clear-cut cover-up” on the entire issue and of influencing the Enforcement Directorate (ED) probe in the Dushyant Singh and Modi case.

Reforms absolutely necessary in land, labour, taxation

Promising a globally compatible business climate in India, Jaitley said reforms have become “absolutely necessary” in the areas of land, labour and taxes to attract investors.

Stating that the Government is committed to these reforms, Jaitley also promised a permanent consultation mechanism to address the foreign investors’ concerns.

The Finance Minister further said the Government has already begun implementing various tax reforms.

“The aggression in the tax policy has been subdued and taxation structures are now becoming a lot more compatible and lot less adversarial,” Jaitley said.

“Land, labour and taxation — these are the three areas where reforms are absolutely necessary. This is what many investors have highlighted.

“As far as taxation is concerned, quite a positive movement is going on in India, corporate taxes being made very competitive. The GST and various other instruments of investments are now coming up. So there is a sense of satisfaction,” he said.

Wrapping up his seven-day US visit, during which he met a number of foreign investors and US administration officials, Jaitley said investors here made a number of suggestions that he is taking back home.

“We have to provide a globally compatible regime where there is ease of doing business and where taxation levels are fully competitive. Investors want predictability. They do not appreciate uncertainties,” he said.

Jaitley said that India stands out with a higher growth potential in “a slowed down global economic environment”.

“There has been a considerable amount of fiscal discipline which has been introduced in India. Many sectors have been opened up and there is a huge potential for investment in infrastructure.

“I think the cutting edge for India is that when rest of the world is slowing down and there are not many great investment avenues, India stands out as a good opportunity.

“Therefore, if we can continue the reform story and improve ease of doing business, I think this is a great opportunity for India.”