Seeking to dispel doubts over the economy and government's growth agenda, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said India's GDP continues to grow at a faster pace than the global economy and any other major economy.
Addressing a press conference, she said reform is a continuous process for her government and it tops the agenda.
Global GDP growth may be revised downwards from the current estimate of 3.2 percent, she said adding that globally the demand was going to be weak. But the Indian economy was growing faster than the global average and all other major economies, Sitharaman added.
As a result of the US-China trade war and currency devaluation, a very volatile situation has developed in global trade, she said.
Echoing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Independence Day speech talking of respect for wealth creators, she said this was the spirit of her budget for FY20. Sitharaman said she held consultations with different sectors to understand their needs thereafter.
"We haven't lost reforms momentum," she said.
Enhanced surcharge on FPIs removed
Additionally, giving in to the demands of overseas investors, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday announced the rollback of enhanced surcharge on foreign portfolio investors levied in the Budget.
Surcharge on long and short-term capital gains arising from the transfer of equity shares has been withdrawn, she said.
"The pre-Budget position is restored," the minister said.
It is being done to encourage investment in the capital market, said the finance minister. The decision taken in the Budget to levy enhanced surcharge had spooked the stock markets.
Following the increase in surcharge in the Budget, the effective income tax rate for individuals with taxable income of Rs 2-5 crore went up to 39 percent from 35.88 percent and for those above Rs 5 crore to 42.7 percent.
Earlier this month, capital market participants and foreign institutional investors presented a charter of demands to Sitharaman, which included the rollback of surcharge on FPIs and review of dividend distribution tax.
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)