The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) on Sunday awarded the Narendra Modi government seven marks on a scale of 10 for its performance over the past year.
Assocham lauded the government for improving the macroeconomic situation, financial inclusion, Swachch Bharat initiative, coal auction, and clearing difficult legislation in Parliament. It, however, said a lot was still to be done to improve the ease of doing business in India.
Chamber President Rana Kapoor said, "Investor confidence and transparency have been achieved with the successful completion of auction of coal blocks and spectrum, raking in Rs 3 lakh crore for the Centre and the states."
He added the government deserves credit for making Parliament run better with difficult legislation such as raising foreign direct investment (FDI) limits in insurance.
Although praising the government for improving macro-economic parameters, the chamber said high economic growth was clearly not translating into income benefits as the direct tax revenue fell 14 per cent in 2014-15.
It also asked the government to move faster on the goods and services tax (GST) front. The Constitution amendment Bill on GST has been referred to a select panel of the Rajya Sabha.
While noting that renewable energies such as solar and wind have been prioritised, Assocham argued for policy reforms to attract more investors.
On diplomacy, Assocham said the Prime Minister should continue to engage with important powers such as the US, Germany, China and neighbouring countries. According to Assocham, qualitative changes in economic diplomacy have resulted in missions abroad being much more aligned with economic programmes such as Make in India, Smart Cities and Swachch Bharat Abhiyaan.
Pointing to the downward trends in export of merchandise goods and unfriendly domestic and global macro factors, Assocham agreed that industry will have to be patient with seeing success in a considerable manner on the ground. Merchandise exports declined 15 per cent in April 2015, a fifth consecutive month of fall.
It noted at least 24-30 months were required for consumer demand to revitalise after legislative and policy changes were constituted.