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GST biggest economic reform ever in India, PM Modi tells BRICS

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s emphasis at the BRICS Business Council was on convincing potential foreign investors that the ease of doing business in India is improving.

world Updated: Sep 04, 2017 18:49 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times, Xiamen
BRICS Summit,BRICS Business Council,Prime Minister Narendra Modi
A staff member gestures to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he waits to enter a reception hall during the BRICS Summit in southeastern China's Fujian province on September 4, 2017. (AP)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday made a pitch for attracting foreign investment into India at the BRICS Summit, emphasising the Goods and Services Tax reform and reiterating that India is rapidly rising in the global competitive index.

Addressing the BRICS Business Council, Modi pitched the introduction of the GST as “India’s biggest economic reform”, indicating that its launch will smoothen business processes.

“The Goods and Services Tax that was introduced in July is India’s biggest economic reform measure ever. In one stroke, a unified market of 1.3 billion people has been created,” he told the meeting.

Modi’s emphasis was on convincing potential foreign investors that the ease of doing business is improving in India, and the processes associated with starting a venture were rapidly becoming less complex.

“India is changing fast into one of the most open economies in the world today. Foreign direct investment inflows are at an all-time high, rising by 40%. India has moved up in the World Bank Index of Ease of Doing Business. Similarly, we have moved up 32 spots in the last two years in the Global Competitiveness Index,” he said.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivers a speech ahead of the signing ceremony of the BRICS Business Council at the BRICS Summit at Xiamen in Fujian province of China on September 4, 2017. (AP)

Modi mentioned programmes launched since 2014 and how they were transforming India’s economy.

“Programmes like Digital India, Start Up India and Make in India are changing the economic landscape of the country. They are assisting India turn into a knowledge based, skill supported and technology driven society,” he said.

The priorities of the business council matched India’s priorities, he added.

“I am happy to note that the BRICS Business Council also has matching priorities of trade and investment facilitation, promoting skills development, infrastructure development, SME evelopment, e-commerce and digital economy,” he said.

“Many productive recommendations have come out of your deliberations. Your work towards establishment of a BRICS Rating Agency, energy cooperation, green finance, and digital economy is particularly noteworthy.

“At this meeting last year in Goa, there was a suggestion on closer cooperation between the New Development Bank and BRICS Business Council. I am happy to note that you are entering into an MOU with the NDB.”

First Published: Sep 04, 2017 18:47 IST