Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday met top industrialists including Mukesh Ambani and Ratan Tata for an ‘’extensive’’ interaction and later followed it up with an address meant to revive the business sentiments, sending out a positive message ahead of the Union Budget.
During his meeting with India Inc bigwigs during the day, the PM focused on issues facing the industry and measures needed to boost the economy. Speaking at the centenary celebrations of Kirloskar Brothers in the evening, he encouraged businesses to invest without fear, stressing that action against a few corrupt entities should not be seen as government crackdown on the corporate sector. The government will walk shoulder to shoulder with the industry, he added, in a bid to revive the animal spirit.
Besides Tata and Ambani, the meeting with the PM was attended by Sunil Mittal, N Chandrasekaran, Anand Mahindra, Sajjan Jindal, Gautam Adani, Venu Srinivasan, A M Naik and Anil Agarwal, among others. An official in the Prime Minister’s Office said, “The PM had an extensive interaction with leading business stalwarts to discuss ways to improve growth and job creation’’.
The Modi government will present its next budget on February 1 and Indian companies are expecting a cut in income tax rates to revive consumer demand. Rationalisation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) is also high on India Inc expectations from the Budget. Although the government has already taken a series of steps to boost the sentiments, including a corporate tax rate cut, companies remain hesitant about fresh investments due to low consumer demand.
At the Kirloskar event, Modi asked the industry to shun pessimism and work towards the $5-trillion economy goal set by the government. “The target of $5-trillion economy is just a phase, our targets are bigger, higher,” he said. “At the beginning of the new year, I will again tell the Indian industry not to let disappointment affect you. Go ahead with new energy… whichever corner of the country you go to for your expansion, the Indian government will walk shoulder to shoulder with you,” the PM said.
The corporate tax rate in India is the lowest ever and GST as well as public sector banking reforms have already been rolled out, Modi told the audience. These reforms were longed for a long time, he added.
Reaching out to the businesses, Modi said action against a few corrupt corporate entities should not be seen as government crackdown on the corporate sector. “The attempt was to allow the industry to create wealth fearlessly in a transparent environment where there are no obstacles.”
The government is attempting to rid the industry of web of laws, the PM pointed out. “The attempt has been to bring transparency, efficiency and accountability in tax system, and reduce human interface with the tax department,” he said.
“As we enter the new year, I have no hesitation in saying that this decade will be for the Indian entrepreneurs,’’ he said.
Thackeray, India Inc meet today
Mumbai: Chief Minister of Maharashtra Uddhav Thackeray will meet industrialists in Mumbai on Tuesday to get their inputs and expectations to make the state's economy reach the $1-trillion mark in the next few years.