India is fast changing into one of the most open economies, with improvements on global indices and the biggest-ever reform GST weaving the nation into one unified market, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday.
In his intervention at the Dialogue with BRICS Business Council, he said programmes to promote use of digital mode for payments and transactions, encourage start-ups to set up businesses and boost local manufacturing were changing the economic landscape.
“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%,” he said.
In 2016-17, foreign fund inflows aggregated $60.08 billion, or about $3,86,885 crore.
“India has moved up on the World Bank index of Ease of Doing Business. Similarly, we have moved up 32 spots in the last two years on the Global Competitiveness Index,” he said.
Mr. Modi pitched the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in a big way, which unified more than a dozen taxes from July 1, as India’s biggest economic reform ever. “In one stroke, a unified market of 1.3 billion people has been created.”
The Prime Minister also spoke of programmes like Digital India, Start Up India and Make in India that were changing the economic landscape. “They are assisting India turn into a knowledge -based, skill-supported and technology-driven society.”
He expressed happiness at the BRICS Business Council matching priorities of trade and investment facilitation, promoting skills development, infrastructure development, SME development, e-commerce and digital economy.
“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,” he said.
Offering India’s full support, Mr. Modi hoped BRICS Business Council would take nations closer to the common objective of improving business and investment cooperation. He also hailed the MoU signed between the Council and the New Development Bank, as was suggested at the last BRICS meeting in Goa last year.