The new government has begun its tenure with a promise to pursue a broad economic reform agenda focused on job-creation through public and private investment and has pledged to contain inflation as among its top priorities.
Asserting that getting the economy back on track was the most important task for the new government, President Pranab Mukherjee said in his joint address to Parliament that efforts will be taken to “restore the confidence of the domestic as well as international community in the Indian economy”. The government will create a policy environment that is predictable, transparent and fair, he said. “It will embark on rationalisation and simplification of the tax regime to make it non-adversarial and conducive to investment, enterprise and growth”.
The president said that the government would introduce a general sales tax, while addressing the concerns of states.
Reforms will be undertaken to enhance the ease of doing business, encourage foreign investment and speed up approvals for projects. It would also tackle bottlenecks that make India’s food inflation the highest among major economies. The Centre will “urgently pursue” reforms to the coal sector and the defence industry, the president said.