Big bang reforms are a myth, fast-track growth is real: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said his government had set India on fast track to growth by introducing a raft of measures to boost the economy, taking on critics who accuse him of failing to pursue “big bang” reforms.
The Prime Minister was confident that the long-pending goods and services tax, the country’s biggest tax reform, would be through this year(AFP)
The Prime Minister was confident that the long-pending goods and services tax, the country’s biggest tax reform, would be through this year(AFP)
Updated on May 26, 2016 12:41 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByHT Correspondent, New Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said his government had set India on the fast track to growth by introducing a raft of measures to boost the economy, taking on critics who accuse him of failing to pursue “big bang” reforms.

In an interview to The Wall Street Journal on the eve of completing two years in office, Modi said he had opened up more of the economy to foreign investment and taken steps to check corruption, improve infrastructure and make it easier to do business.

“I have actually undertaken the maximum reforms,” Modi said on Wednesday. “I have an enormous task ahead for myself.”

Amid gloomy global conditions, India has emerged the world’s fastest growing major economy. It is poised to grow at 7-7.75% in 2016-17 after averaging 7.4% in the previous two years ahead of China’s 6.9% expansion in 2015.

Read | Defence manufacturing could be India’s biggest job spinner: Modi to WSJ

The Prime Minister was confident that the long-pending goods and services tax, the country’s biggest tax reform, would be through this year. The legislation that proposes a common market subsuming various central and state levies is stuck in the Rajya Sabha, where the ruling BJP is in minority.

The changes carried out by him would have been regarded as difficult by previous administrations but now that they were done, they no longer qualified as “big bang.”

“When I came to the government, I used to sit down with all the experts and ask them to define for me what is the ‘big bang’ for them,” Modi said. “Nobody could tell me.”

He said states should help navigate the growth path that the Centre had drawn.

He would look to states to further liberalise labour laws, an area seen as crucial and contentious. “Labour reform should not just mean in the interest of industry,” Modi said. “Labour reform should also be in the interest of the labourer.”

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Monday, November 29, 2021