India seeing opportunity in slower growth in China: Jaitley

New Delhi, Aug 27 (IANS) In face of the ongoing turmoil in Asian equity markets, union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said India, with a growth rate between 8-9 percent can outpace China to become a key driver of global economy.

“The world needs other engines to carry the growth process. And in a slowdown environment in the world, an economy which can grow at 8-9 percent, like India, certainly has viable shoulders to provide the support to the global economy,” Jaitley told BBC in an interview.

With a commitment to push ahead with the government’s reforms agenda, the minister said India has already laid down a “red carpet” for businesses looking to invest here and investors need not fear any retrospective legislations.

“My message to the people wanting to do businesses in India is that there is a red carpet laid down for you. India needs investments, India invites investments and we are going to be one of the more investor-friendly destination,” he said, adding that the current government will never resort to retrospective taxation.

The country’s GDP grew by 7.3 percent in 2014-15 and is projected to grow by 8-8.5 percent in the current fiscal year.

“In an environment where there is a relative global slowdown, India seems to be doing reasonably well. We finished last year with 7.3 percent growth rate, will probably finish this year with a slightly better growth rate than that and next year hopefully will be a little better,” Jaitley said.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates have stated India to overtake China as the fastest growing emerging economy in 2015-16 by clocking a growth rate of 7.5 percent. However, there will be a deceleration in China as the growth rate will slide from 7.4 percent in 2014 to 6.8 percent in 2015 and 6.3 percent a year after.

“I see this as a great opportunity. The Chinese normal has now changed. It is no longer the 9 percent, 10 percent, 11 percent growth rate. If we can continue to reform at a faster pace and really attract global investment, then our ability to provide that shoulder which the world economy needs will be much greater,” he said.

Even then, the finance minister said that convincing the section of society which has still been left out off the benefits of the reforms will be a challenge.

Asked about the recent crash in the stock markets following the devaluation of the Chinese yuan, Jaitley said: “When the Chinese economy slowed down a little, it didn’t impact much. When the devaluation and the currency war started we did get somewhat adversely affected. When global markets fell, we also felt a huge impact in terms of currency and markets. But within a day we had recovered.”

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