More steps to help traders at GST Council meet: Modi

More steps to help traders at GST Council meet: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday exuded confidence that India will better its ease of doing business ranking next year when mega tax reform GST is regarded by the World Bank.

He also promised more measures to bail out traders and small businesses struggling under the new tax regime if there is consensus at the GST council meeting slated for November 9 and 10.

"As you all know, GST is the biggest tax reform in the Indian economy. And it impacts many aspects of doing business. With GST, we are moving towards a modern tax regime, which is transparent, stable and predictable," Modi said in his address at a session on India's Business Reforms at the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra here.

The Prime Minister also mentioned other reforms which, he said, have a gestation time to stabilise and get noticed by the World Bank. "There are a few other reforms where our team and the World Bank 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 World Bank report next year and in the years thereafter," he asserted in the presence of World Bank chief executive officer Kristalina Georgieva.

Georgieva patted India for the quantum jump in the global ranking which she described as a "very impressive achievement".

"In 15 years of the history of the ease of doing business, such a jump of 30 ranks is very rare. In cricket, I understand that hitting a century is a big milestone," she stated.

Modi tried to remove misgivings about the Indian economy, which has slowed down post demonetisation and GST. He took a jibe at critics of India's global ranking in ease of doing business.

The also assured the gathering that the GST Council had set up panels of state ministers and officials to address the reservations some states  have. A group of state ministers examining issues flagged by businesses and small traders, have "positively accepted" most of the suggestions, he said.

India, insisted Modi, was aiming at faster development in infrastructure sector along with manufacturing to improve the overall investment climate in the country.

Targeting Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for making fun of India's ease of doing business ranking, Modi said those who have worked in the World Bank in the past are now questioning India's improved global ranking.

"Some people don't understand Bharat improving its ranking from 142 to 100. They are not bothered. Some of them have even worked at the World Bank. Still they are raising questions about Bharat's ranking. I want to ask such people: if insolvency code, bankruptcy code, commercial code reforms were done in your time, would this ranking not have come in your regime?" the PM chastised the Congress.

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