PM attacks Congress for questioning World Bank ranking

New Delhi, Nov 4 :  Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday attacked Congress for questioning the World Bank Report on ease of doing business in India and said with GST and other reforms, its report next year would show further improvement in ranking.

The Prime Minister said those who had worked with the World Bank previously were now raising doubts over India’s ranking.

“Some people do not understand the impact of India’s ranking going up from 142 to 100, they are not bothered by it. After coming up 42 positions from 142, I don’t feel like sleeping,” he said while addressing ‘India’s Business Reforms’ event at the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra here.

Modi also said: “I am a Prime Minister who has never seen the World Bank building even while those who were there (in government) earlier knew the World Bank very well. They are now questioning the World Bank ranking.”

Modi said he did not want to “sleep” over the 30 place jump this year – the biggest leap by India ever, and wants to do more.

The Prime Minister said India would be at an even better place in 2018 ranking since issues raised by traders, businesses on Goods and Services Tax (GST) have been positively accepted by the government.

The ranking took into account reforms initiated only till May-end, he said. It did not reflect the impact of GST, which was implemented from July 1, he added.

The GST has not just integrated the nation of 1.2 billion into one market with one tax rate but also provided a stable and transparent taxation regime, he said.

“This reform plus others that have already happened but need gestation and stabilisation time before they are taken into account by the World Bank, will improve the ranking. All these combined, gives me confidence that India will occupy a place of pride in World Bank’s report in 2018 and the year thereafter,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister said when the government decided to bring GST, people were unsure about its implementation. Three months after the tax reform, the GST Council meeting was organised and issues raised by traders and business communities were addressed, he said.

He said the GST Council at its next meeting on November 9-10 will make necessary changes.

On the implementation of GST, Modi said GST is the biggest tax reform in the history of India and it was “fulfilling global expectations”.

The Prime Minister said that bringing change to the country and its 1.25 billion people was his mission.

He said that ease of doing business also leads to ease in life. He said India has moved 19 places up on the logistics performance index.

Modi said India has reached a position from where it is easier to improve further.

“Our efforts have gathered momentum. The World Bank has recognised the tremendous work done by us to improve the ease of doing business. In the short time of three years, we have moved up 42 ranks. India has delivered with the highest improvement in rank in a year,” Modi said on the economy.

Jump in ease of doing business ranking is an example of good governance, Modi said.

“Our mantra is ‘reform’, ‘transform’ and ‘perform'”, Modi said.

The Prime Minister said the government is improving the investment climate in the country. “More than 90 per cent of FDI approvals have been put on automatic route. FDI inflow has been at all time high. Total FDI has gone up by 67 per cent in the last three years,” said Modi.

Emphasising on the importance of technology, he said the use of technology should maximise governance.

“Along with technology we also need to change mindsets. The past mindset of excessive control should be replaced with minimum government maximum governance.”