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'PM wants India to bag ease of biz rank of 50'

NEW DELHI: Upbeat about the near and medium-term prospects of the Indian economy, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Saturday, "Prime Minister Narendra Modi is after people like me to improve India's ease of doing business ranking to the top 50." He pointed out that under Modi's dynamic leadership, India has already improved its ranking from 142 to 100 in ease of doing business, according to the India Today website.

"Among the top indicators of the World Bank for ease of doing business are land, construction, contract enforcement and custom clearance, where India ranks very low," Jaitley observed. He said that on land, India ranks 183 out of 188 countries. "Improving on land indicator requires steps from the state governments. It involves system at the municipal level. If someone wants to set up an enterprise, the person needs about 50 permissions right from municipalities. The state governments should also help," he added.
"If we can improve taxation system by putting it on IT, can't we put municipal permission on IT? This is to happen in states. The urban development ministry is interacting with states in this regard. If we get these permissions online, we can move forward towards the top 50 rank," the finance minister said.
With regard to contract enforcement, Jaitley said the finance ministry and law ministry have worked on this and a draft is likely to be introduced in Parliament soon. On the issue of custom clearance, Jaitley said, "This is related to me. I am trying to simplify it. We are working to reduce the time of stay at ports. Less time spent at ports improves ease of doing business."
Responding to Rahul Gandhi's charge that GST is Gabbar Singh Tax, Jaitley said, "this is surprising because the standard tax rate on trade during Congress rule was 31 per cent. The excise tax was about 12.5 per cent, then there was VAT of 14.5 per cent and beyond that there was tax on tax, called cascading tax, and all led to about 31 per cent tax."

M Post Bureau

M Post Bureau

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