Modi says India aims to be in the top 50 in Ease of Business rankings next year

Modi addresses delegates at Vibrant Gujarat Summit
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that India aimed to be in the Top 50 of the World Bank's Ease of Business rankings next year and to make its regulations and processes among the best anywhere.
In his inaugural address at the 9th Vibrant Gujarat Summit here, he pointed out that, in the last four years, India had jumped 65 places in the Global Ranking of World Bank’s Doing Business Report from 142 in 2014 to 77. 
“But we are still not satisfied. I have asked my team to work harder so that India is in the top 50 next year. I want our regulations and processes to compare with the best in the world," he said.
“In Foreign Direct Investment, we are one of the most open countries now. Most of the sectors of our economy are now open for FDI. More than 90% approvals have been put on automatic route. Such measures have propelled our economy into a high growth path. In the last four years, we have received FDI worth $ 263 billion. This is 45% of the FDI received in last 18 years.
“We have also made Doing Business Smarter. We are insisting on IT based transactions in procurement and purchases of Government. Digital payments including direct transfer of government benefits is now under full implementation. 
“We are among the largest eco-systems in the world for start-ups and a number of them have come up in the field of technology. I can therefore safely say that doing business with us is a great opportunity,” he added.
The Prime Minister said it was also because India was among the top 10 FDI destinations listed by UNCTAD. “Ours is a globally cost competitive manufacturing environment. We have a vast pool of skilled professionals with knowledge and energy. We have a world class engineering education base and strong Research and Development facilities. Rise in GDP, a rising middle class and their purchasing power is creating further growth in our huge domestic market. 
“In the last two years, we have moved towards a low tax regime on the corporate side. We have lowered the tax from 30 % to 25 % for new investments as well as small and-medium ventures. 
“On IPR issues, we have evolved benchmarking policies. Now, we are one of the fastest trademark regimes. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code now gives businesses an exit window without the burden of long legal and financial battles,” he pointed out.
Thus, from the start of business to its operation and closure, attention has been given to building new institutions, processes and procedures. 
“All this is important, not just for doing business but also for ease of life of our people. We also understand that, being a young nation, we need to create job opportunities and better infrastructure. Both are linked with investments. Therefore, in recent years, there has been unprecedented focus on manufacturing and infrastructure,” Mr Modi said.
“We have worked hard to promote manufacturing to create jobs for our youth. Investments through our 'Make in India' initiative have been well supported by programmes like ‘Digital India’ and ‘Skill India’. 
“Our focus also includes bringing our industrial infrastructure, policies and practices to best global standards and to convert India into a global manufacturing hub,” he added.
The Prime Minister pointed out that India continues to remain one of the fastest growing major economies in the world. Major international financial institutions like the World Bank and the IMF as well as rating agencies like Moody’s have expressed confidence in India’s economic journey.
“We have focused on removing the barriers which were preventing us from achieving our full potential. We will continue the pace and process of reforms and de-regulation,” he added.
The implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and other measures for simplification and consolidation of taxes have reduced transaction costs and made processes efficient, he said.
“We have committed to the world to work towards reducing the effects of climate change. On the energy front, we are now the fifth largest producer of renewable energy in the world.  We are fourth largest in Wind Energy and fifth largest producer of Solar Energy.
“We are keen to scale up investments in next generation infrastructureincluding roads, ports, railways, airports, telecom, digital networks and energy. We are also investing heavily in our social, industrial and agri-infrastructure to give better income and quality of life to our people,” the Prime Minister said. 
"To give some examples, in four years there has been maximum capacity addition & generation of electricity. For the first time, India has become a net exporter of electricity. We have distributed LED Bulbs on a massive scale. This has resulted in huge energy savings.
“We have installed transmission lines at an unprecedented pace. Our speed in road construction has almost doubled. We have done unprecedented capacity addition in major ports. Rural road connectivity is now 90 %.  
"The speed of setting up new rail lines, gauge conversion, doubling and electrification of railway tracks has also doubled.  We are debottlenecking execution of major projectson a regular basis through an online process.
“Our Public Private Partnership regime for infrastructure has been made more investor friendly. At 7.3%,the average GDP growth, over the entire term of our Governmenthas been the highest of any Indian Government since 1991.
"At the same time, the rate of inflation at 4.6 % is the lowest for any Indian Government since 1991, when India began its process of liberalization.
“We believe that fruits of development must reach people with ease and efficiency. To give you a few examples, now we have a bank account for every family. We are giving loans to small enterprises without collateral. 
“We now have electricity in every village. We also have electricity in almost all households now. We have given cooking gas to large numbers of people who were not able to afford it so far. We have ensured that there is proper sanitation in all areas - both urban and rural. We are working towards full coverage of toilets for households and their proper use,” he added.
The Prime Minister pointed out that India was among the fast growing tourist destinations in the world in 2017. India had a growth of 14% over 2016, while the world grew at an average of 7% in the same year. 
“We have also been the fastest growing aviation market in the world, with double-digit growth in passenger ticketing terms, for over four years,” he added.
“Thus a New India is emerging which will be modern and competitive and yet caring and compassionate. An example of this compassion is our Medical Assurance Scheme called Ayushman Bharat. 
“This will benefit about 500 million people – which is more than the population of United States, Canada and Mexico combined. Ayushman Bharat will provide immense investment opportunities in the areas of health infrastructure, medical equipment manufacturing, and healthcare services,” he added.
“In terms of infrastructure, 50 cities in India are ready to build Metro Rail Systems. We have to build 50 million houses. The requirement of road, rail and waterways is enormous. We want world-class technologies to achieve our goal in a faster and cleaner way.
“India is, thus, a land of immense opportunities. It is the only place, which offers you Democracy, Demography and Demand. To those who are already present in India, I would like to assure you that our democratic system, human values and strongjudicial system will ensure the safety and security of your investments. 
“We are continuously working to improve the investment climate further and make ourselves more and more competitive. For those who are not yet present in India, I extend an invitation and encourage you to explore the opportunities. This is the best time to be here. We have set up dedicated ways to help investors on a one to one basis. Above all I assure you that I will be always available to hold your hands in your journey,” he added.

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