In an exclusive interview to Network18 , Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke on a wide range wide range of topics relating to business and economy. Key takeaways from the interview:
Cutting red tapeism
Our ranking (on the list of ease of doing business) is improving very quickly. This is not possible without reform. Our systems, processes, forms were so complicated. These have been reformed, so our rankings are going up. Even today there exists licence raj in some areas. That needs to go.
Very few people in the country pay taxes. Some people pay taxes because they are patriotic and they want to do something for the country. Some pay taxes because they don’t want to break the law. Some pay to avoid trouble. But most don’t pay because the process is no complicated. They think they might get stuck in the process and won’t be able to come out. GST will simplify tax payments so much that anyone who wants to contribute to the country will come forward.
Usually, it is one or two things that are talked about, but today growth has being talked about in all sectors. Electricity production has gone up and so has demand. Infrastructure work is also growing rapidly and that happens when there is demand in the economy. From all this it looks like we have moved ahead to better days.
Reforms that transform
In our country, only what is talked about is seen as reform. If it isn’t talked about, it isn’t seen as reform. Actually, I am of the view reform to transform. Direct benefit transfer is a big reform. At the centre of this is the common man. How to make life easier for the common man, how they will get what is their right, we want to stress on these.
Taking the long road
I held a session with (PSU) bankers and told them there will be no call from the government to you. These steps would have tightened the screws. The pace at which roads are being made, how railways is expanding, the six-fold increase in electronic goods manufacturing… these things show we haven’t taken shortcuts. We don’t want to take any shortcuts and the results are showing.
You may have made mistakes with whatever intentions. Whether it has been done willingly or unwillingly, here is your chance. Come into the mainstream. I have this plan for people to sleep peacefully at night. People must accept this. And no one should blame me if I take tough decisions after the 30th (September). This money belongs to the country’s poor. No one has the right to loot this. This is my commitment. I am working with full force and will continue the effort.
Economic freedom through empowerment
Freedom from poverty can only come by empowerment. The biggest tool for empowerment is education. The next point is employment. If we get economic empowerment, then it can serve as a tool to change things on its own. All the intiatives that we have taken over the past few years, like the Mudra Scheme – at least 3.5 crore people have taken the benefits of the Mudra Scheme and they got about 1.25 lakh crore rupees through this scheme. Many of them are those who have got money from the bank for the first time. These people will do something or the other. They will get sewing machines, stitch clothes… they will do something.