Inaugurating the ninth edition of Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called India an investment destination and told captains of the industry that this is the best time to invest in India.
Modi maintained that the average GDP growth of 7.3 per cent in the last four years is the highest under any Indian government since the economy was liberalised in 1991 and that the rate of inflation remained the lowest at 4.6 per cent, better than any government since 1991.
He also said, “In the last four years, we have jumped 65 places in the Global Ranking of World Bank’s Doing Business Report —from 142 in 2014 to 77 now…”
Modi addressed the gathering at the Main Convention Hall of Mahatma Mandir and put forth various initiatives undertaken by his government in the fields of infrastructure, health, taxation, energy, environment, etc.
Modi said the past four years have seen maximum capacity addition and generation of electricity. “For the first time, India has become a net exporter of electricity. We have distributed LED bulbs on a massive scale, resulting 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 per cent.”
He said new railway tracks, gauge conversion, doubling and electrification of tracks has doubled under his government. “We are de-bottlenecking execution of major projects on a regular basis through an online process. Our public private partnership (PPP) regime for infrastructure has been made more investor-friendly,” he said.
On Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Modi said India is now “one of the most open countries”. He said, “More than 90 per cent 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 per cent of the FDI received over the last 18 years.”
Maintaining that the government has made doing business “smarter”, Modi said, “We are insisting on IT-based transactions in procurement and purchases of the government. Digital payments, including direct transfer of government benefits, is now under full implementation. We are among the largest ecosystems 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 said India has 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 its purchasing power are 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 tax from 30 per cent to 25 per cent for new investments as well as small and medium ventures.”