Washington: Asserting that India is on the move to becoming a country with a business-friendly environment, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has exhorted top US corporates to establish and expand their base in India before it is too late.
“Take the benefit of the fast paced development and changes in the Indian economy,” Modi said in his address yesterday to American businesses urging them to take advantage of India’s growing economy to foster mutual prosperity.
“Together we will reach new heights of development and growth,” Modi said at the event organised by the US-India Business Council (USIBC).
“I invite you all. I invite you all for ‘Make in India’,” he added.
Referring to a speech he made to the business community in the 2009 Vibrant Gujarat Summit, he said, “At that time, I had said that do not delay (in coming to Gujarat), the queue might be too long too soon and you might be left behind”.
“Today I am saying the same thing with confidence – that the queue would be too long too soon,” Modi said, in the last engagement of his five-day visit to the US.
Among those present at the meeting were World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim, External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, and several top corporate leaders from both the US and India, including Mukesh Ambani.
USIBC chairman, Ajay Banga, who is also MasterCard CEO, said India under Modi is experiencing a new chapter of growth.
And encouraged by the steps taken by the new Indian government in its first three months, the USIBC has identified upwards of USD 41 billion slated for investment from members over the next two to three years, he said.
“The best days of US-India relations are coming,” Banga said.
“What a difference one election can make,” Banga added.
The US Chamber of Commerce President, Tom Donohue, in his brief remarks welcomed Modi’s commitment to replace “red tape with red carpet”.
In his speech, which he delivered in Hindi with simultaneous interpretation in English, Modi said even if there is no red carpet, he would ensure that there is no red tape in his country.
He assured American investors and businesses that in the next six months, he would implement all the things necessary for ease of business in the country.
“With its full force, India is vowing to make its presence felt in the economic world and is moving ahead with a new confidence, he said, adding that in less than three to four months of his government, he does not see any reason whatsoever for India lagging behind in the global economy.
“There is no need to waste time in finding an answer to the question – why we are lagging behind,” he said.
“We need to make only one small decision: ‘Chalo, Nikal Paro (Come Let’s Move)’,” he said adding that India is now on the move.
“Now I can say with confidence that there is a new faith and aspiration towards India the world over,” he said.
Business and corporate world, he said based on his experience, need effective governance, easy governance and ways to avoid red-tapism, even if they do not get red carpet.
Modi said it is a responsibility of his government to provide a development-friendly environment.
People should be assured about the security of their investment, be given proper infrastructure and require a peaceful neighbour, in addition to adequate human resources.
The Indian government has made a road map keeping this in mind, he added.
He also called for a vibrant economy for a country, otherwise no one would come.
“Fiscal deficit should be less. There should be no existence of tax terrorism. There should be simplification of taxation system. After coming to power, we have given priority to these things,” Modi said.
Modi said he has established a committee to remove obsolete and outdated rules and regulations.
“The less the regulations and law, the more fresh air,” he added.
Reiterating that the government ‘has no business to remain in business’, Modi said his government has taken decision of a record disinvestment of USD 10 billion.
“Our job is to facilitate things and not run a business,” he said.
The Prime Minister said he has instructed his officials to take steps towards ease of business.
“Today, I can say with confidence that within six months, we will implement and enforce all parameters of ease of business,” Modi said adding that “Make in India” campaign is being connected with the digital world.