Group of ministers to look into small traders’ issues, says Modi.
New Delhi: Days after it gave India a 30-place jump in its ease of doing business ranking, the World Bank (WB) on Saturday said the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and reforms push by the government would catapult the country to a high middle income economy in 30 years. The WB credited India’s “extraordinary” achievement of quadrupling per capita income to reforms taken in last three decades.
Comparing the achievement of securing 100th rank in the latest Doing Business Report to hitting a century in cricketing parlance, WB CEO, Kristalina Georgieva said a jump of that nature is very rare. “And I have no doubt that when India hits another century, the century of independence in 2047, most people in India would be part of the global middle class. India will be a high middle income country,” she said speaking at India’s Business Reform event organised by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Modi rebutted Congress criticism of the improvement in India’s ease of doing business ranking saying those who worked with World Bank are now raising doubts over its ranking.
Stating that the ‘ease of doing business’ ranking by WB was started in 2004, he asked which party was in power for the following 10 years. “I am a Prime Minister who hasn’t even seen the World Bank building whereas those running World Bank used to be in this position,” he said in oblique reference to his predecessor Manmohan Singh.
Mr Modi also said a committee of state ministers has accepted most of the suggestions made by them and an announcement is likely in the GST Council meet next week. He said the GST Council had set up panels of state ministers and officials as some of the states had expressed reservation on certain issues.The next meeting of the Council headed by Union finance minister Arun Jaitley and comprising state finance ministers is scheduled to meet on November 9 and 10 in Guwahati.
The PM said a group of state ministers was constituted to look into the issues raised by businesses and small traders, and they have “positively accepted” most of the suggestions. It is understood that the recommendations of the panel will be accepted at the next meeting of the GST Council if no state government raises objections.
“There are a few other reforms where our team and the WB team need to find common ground. All this, combined with our conviction to do even better, gives me the confidence that India will occupy a place of pride in the WB report next year and in the years thereafter,” he said. Mr Modi said efforts were on to create a new India, where opportunities are created and harnessed to the advantage of the needy.