Against the backdrop of his government’s demonetisation exercise, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday that ridding the system of black money and corruption was “very high” on his agenda.
“India is currently witnessing an economic transformation... We are now moving towards a digital and cashless economy,” he said, addressing the ‘Economic Times Asian Business Leaders Conclave 2016’ in Kuala Lumpur via video conferencing along with his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak.
Malaysia’s premier Razak, for his part, praised Modi for being a “good reformist”, saying he has attempted something that “lesser mortals would not.”
During a brief exchange through video conferencing, Razak praised Modi for the demonetisation move aimed at curbing black money.
Razak is expected to visit India next year as both countries continue to strengthen bilateral ties, following Modi’s visit to Malaysia last year.
“Presently, cleaning the system from black money and corruption is very high on my agenda,” Modi said, following the November 8 decision to scrap notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination.
He said the economic process in India was being geared towards activities which were vital for generating employment or self-employment opportunities.
The Prime Minister told the gathering that a number of steps had been taken to attract greater FDI and listed the various steps taken in this direction.
He mentioned that amendment to the Constitution to pave the way for Goods and Services Tax (GST), which will overhaul the indirect tax system in India, had been cleared by the Parliament and “this is expected to be implemented in 2017”.
“We welcome those who are not in India... India is not only a good destination. It’s always a good decision to be in India,” Modi said.
“We have opened up new sectors for FDI and enhanced caps for existing sectors,” he said, adding the government’s concerted efforts on major FDI policy reforms continue and conditions for investments have been simplified.
The total FDI inflows in the last two and a half years touched $130 billion, Modi said. “The positive change in policy, regulatory and investment environment in India is recognised by both domestic and foreign investors.”