‘The ability to sustain these reforms will improve India’s image globally’
India Inc, on Wednesday, came out strongly in defence of the reforms process unleashed by the UPA II government and urged it to not give in to the demands of Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee to reverse the reforms process.
Industry honchos including Mahindra and Mahindra chairman Anand Mahindra and Biocon Chairperson, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw were of the view that political parties should keep aside their differences and understand that growth of the economy was important for the not only the country but also its citizens . Ms. Shaw termed Ms. Mamata Banerjee as a ‘maverick politician’ stating her vote bank politics was not in sync with economic growth. “Mamata Didi is a maverick politician who depends on a vote bank of poor people. Her economic agenda is not aligned with strong economic growth,” Ms. Shaw tweeted.
Fear of McDonalds?
Supporting the Government’s decision to allow FDI in multi brand retail, she further said: “The fear of FDI in retail can be answered by the same fear that was expressed when McDonalds and other chains were allowed entry into India.”
Mr. Mahindra also asked the Government to not to give in to the demands of the West Bengal Chief Minister and instead reforms process must be carried forward. Mr. Mahindra tweeted: “Again, we urge the Govt (sic) to stand its ground. Right-thinking Indians will be less than amused by partisan politics in a fragile economy.”
Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) President R. V. Kanoria said it was important for political parties to understand the importance of economic reforms for the growth of the country. “The country needs reforms, it needs to grow, it has potential, talent and entrepreneurial skills. I will urge those who are not supporting the reforms to think carefully,” he said.
Mr. Kanoria said political differences must be set aside in the greater interest of the country.
Asked whether political stability or reforms was a priority for the government, Mr. Kanoria said, “....we have to see what is the end objective of reforms? It is to provide employment and benefit to people. If these two criteria are not met then that reform is not correct.”
Stating that the government’s move is a mood-changer for industry, he, however, said it needed to be sustained to sustain the mood.
“The ability to sustain these reforms will improve India’s image globally, too,” he added
On General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR), FICCI said, the recommendation of expert panel on postponement of the controversial tax provision by three years and abolition of capital gains tax on transfer of securities are positive signals.
“I think there are positive signals that there would be some thinking on this and the government is looking in the direction that whatever tax laws are changed, they should be prospective and not retrospective,” Mr. Kanoria said.
Talking about Goods and Services Tax (GST) implementation, he said: “It is a critical reform which needs to be implemented soon. If GST comes into place, we can expect a higher GDP of 1.5 per cent to 2 per cent.”