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8-10% growth, anti-poverty measures needed: Jaitley on Census

Jaitley addresses media

New Delhi:  Pitching for passage of land acquisition and GST bills in Parliament, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said policy reforms and 8-10 per cent economic growth are a must to eliminate poverty.

With Congress and other opposition parties threatening to disrupt the upcoming monsoon session, Jaitley said the message from the Socio Economic and Caste Census is clear that “growth and economic reforms help the poor as do targeted schemes”.

The Census results, released on Friday last, have painted a grim picture of the rural India, highlighting that one out of three families living in villages is landless and depends on manual labour for livelihood.

Jaitley said improving this situation is the “number one priority of this government”.

“Growth or redistribution? Policy reforms or targeted anti-poverty schemes? We believe these are false choices. Both are necessary,” the Minister said in a Facebook post.

The way out to eliminate deprivation, Jaitley said, “is to achieve rapid economic growth of 8-10 per cent so that good jobs are created for all Indians quickly. That is why the government is promoting investment.”

He said for the government to eradicate deprivation most effectively and quickly, “a permanent, formal sector, well-paid job is the best anti-poverty measure”.

The latest data, the Minister said, indicates that the investment cycle is slowly turning around and stalled projects were coming on stream at a faster pace.

In this regard, he added, “passing the GST and reforming the land law will accelerate this investment turnaround.”

These bills, which are with different committees of Parliament, may face tough time as the opposition is expected to disrupt the functioning of the Houses in view of the Lalit Modi controversy. The monsoon session begins on July 21.

The Congress has demanded resignation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje over alleged links with former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi.

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