India’s economy haven of stability amidst global turbulence: President

New Delhi, Feb 23 (IANS) Noting India recorded its highest foreign exchange reserves in 2015, President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday described the country as a haven of “stability” in a turbulent global economy, saying it has put in place a non-adversarial tax regime to attract investments.

“India is a haven of stability in an increasingly turbulent global economy. GDP growth has increased making India the world’s fastest growing economy among large economies,” he said in his address to the joint sitting of parliament at the opening of its Budget session.

“Inflation, fiscal deficit and current account deficit have all decreased. India recorded the highest ever foreign exchange reserves in 2015,” he said.

“Innovative initiatives have helped India jump up 12 places in the latest rankings by the World Bank on ease of doing business,” he added.

On the government’s initiatives towards an investor-friendly tax regime, Mukherjee said: “The government has taken a number of measures to put in place a simplified, progressive and non-adversarial tax regime by incorporating internationally prevalent best practices in tax administration.”

He said the government is engaged in reforming institutions, simplifying procedures and repealing obsolete laws, apart from unlocking infrastructure development opportunities and cutting subsidy leakages.

Besides, procedures have been simplified to improve ease of approvals, and dedicated commercial courts and commercial divisions in high courts have been established.

“For speedy resolution of commercial disputes, the long overdue amendments to the Arbitration Act have been made,” he said.

Employment is being generated through initiatives like Make in India, Startup India, Mudra scheme and Skill India, he added.

On agriculture which has suffered two successive seasons of inadequate rainfall, the president said the government was keen to fully harness the agricultural potential of eastern states and steps had been taken to usher in a second Green Revolution.

An e-marketing platform was being created to connect all regulated agricultural markets.

The president also informed parliament that the country recorded the highest-ever software exports during 2015, while the IT modernization project involving computerization and networking of 155,000 post offices in India will be completed by 2017.

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