Kolkata, Aug 24: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who inaugurated the Bandhan Bank here at Science
City Auditorium on Sunday, said more economic activity is needed in the eastern states of the country for the nation’s growth.
The Finance Minister asserted that more economic activity is needed in the eastern states of the country for the nation’s growth.
Jaitley said, “Our honourable PM has declared that for further growth of India the growth of eastern states is important. Even economists have argued that if we divide a line at the centre of the country, most of the economic activities are taking place in the western part. East UP, Bihar ,West Bengal, Orissa, North-East are the places which need more growth and economic activity and employment.”
He further said: “In fact, West Bengal has lot of intellectual capital. It had academic institutions of great importance. Old ones need to be restored back to excellence. Orissa and West Bengal has lot of natural resources. North East has both oil and gas. Therefore for the growth of the region, the realization of the potential of this area is of extreme importance.”
The Finance Minister further said political differences will not come in the way of development of West Bengal.
“The party to which I belong and the party which rules West Bengal are strongly opposed to each other and that will
continue but in terms of the development of the state and the country we will fully cooperate,” said Jaitley.
He said expansion of banking system in the country will prevent people from investing in unreliable financial agencies and help in funding at grass root level.
“Banks are indeed the life line of Indian economy and with a strong banking system the nation can prosper and grow. The object of the banking sector is to fund over one lakh crore and if private sector initiative like Bandhan Bank joins this effort in a largely populated country like India it can fund at grass root level and prevent people from investing in unreliable sector,” said Jaitley.
Kolkata-based Bandhan got the RBI’s approval last year to start commercial banking operations. With the launching of banking services, 500 branches of Bandhan will start functioning across the country.
Later speaking at the Indian Chambers of Commerce, the Finance Minister said: “Our current account deficit is one of lowest in recent times and inflation is under control,” adding “These are the periods where the global winds are not very friendly.”
Jaitley also pointed out that the oil prices have created a situation, where the transfer of wealth is taking place from oil producing economies to oil consuming economies.
He further said: “As an oil consuming commodity, we should be comfortable, as the commodity prices are extremely modest,” and added “Even though there is inadequacy in monsoon, by and large the time table and geographic spread is concerned, we are expecting a much better showing as far as agriculture is concerned.”
Jaitley said both last year and this year the IMF estimates are that the world is not likely to grow at a
Launching a veiled attack on the Congress for blocking the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill in Parliament, he said: “The last session of Parliament was disappointing but reasonably educative because not only the government in power but most regional parties also supported the GST.”
“But one political party wanted to use disruption as a tactic to prevent, which otherwise should have been a consensus move,” he added.
(With Agency Inputs)