It is more appropriate to look beyond the current GDP numbers while making an assessment about our economic performance, said Mr Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry. He was speaking at an Interactive Panel on Reform, Perform and Transform, at the India Economic Summit being organized by the World Economic Forum and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) at New Delhi today.
Mr Abhishek further mentioned that the reforms process being currently undertaken would help develop a conducive ecosystem for attracting business and boost competitiveness. Some such reforms include creating a simplified business climate especially in terms of ease of doing business, switching to the system of technology driven governance and digitization, time- bound and deemed approval system, risk based approvals, reducing the cost of logistics, opening up FDI, among others. The reform initiated by the Centre on agri-marketing, through the creation of e-markets, would help give better price to the farmer and help double farmer’s income.
Designating GST as a transformational reform, Mr Abhishek said that while the glitches are temporary, the abolition of check-posts would reduce the transaction cost of business. The issue of credit to exporters would be resolved shortly. On jobs, the Government is exploring ways and means to boost both the self-employment as well as the wage employment opportunities. The Mudra scheme as well as Start-up and Stand Up India are steps in this direction.
Mr Adi Godrej, Chairman, The Godrej Group, also eluded to the implementation of GST as the landmark and game-changing reform which would yield significant benefits in the long run. By bringing the entire indirect tax system on the internet, tax compliance is expected to improve and the tax base widened. He further mentioned that the subdued Q1 GDP growth was essentially the result of de-stocking undertaken by trade during the month of June as the GST rate for manufacturing was expected to be below that of excise and VAT.
Ms Radhika Aggarwal, co-founder and Chief Business Officer, Shop clues, India also referred to GST as a huge positive and said that industry was gradually getting used to the system. Nevertheless, the teething problems which come in the way of compliance need to be addressed. She also lauded the government for Start-up and Stand -up India as well as undertaking business climate reform especially in terms of simplifying the time taken in starting a business.
Ms. Keiko Honda, Executive Vice-President and Chief Executive Officer, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) said that while India is a low risk country, the foreign investor is looking for the availability of investible projects which is more of a problem than scarcity of capital. She advocated that the private sector should mitigate risks through taking recourse to MIGA. Further, she referred to our demographic dividend as a huge advantage. Going forward, there would be disruptive changes taking place the world over which would create jobs, she added.
October 5, 2017