India’s growth story will further pick up speed with development of Northeast: Modi

Vastavam web: Highlighting “path breaking” economic reforms undertaken by his government, Prime Minister?Narendra Modi on Saturday?said India’s growth story will further pick up speed when there is an all-round development of the Northeast.Inaugurating the two-day ‘Global Investors Summit’ hosted by Assam, he stressed on the importance of ‘Act East Policy’ in the Centre’s aim of achieving balanced and fast-paced growth of the Northeastern region.

The prime minister said due to economic reforms, India is today the most preferred investment destination in the world with the highest FDI in last fiscal at USD 60 billion, and highlighted the country’s improved credit rating, low inflation rate and opening of various sectors to foreign direct investment.”The world sees India today as an emerging power house for economic growth,” he said.Pointing to initiatives announced in the Budget on health insurance and free cooking gas connection for the poor and transparency in tax regime, he said all the schemes of the Union government are oriented towards bringing about a qualitative change in the lives of the people.

The aim is to improve “ease of living”, the prime minister said.The Union government has taken up many path breaking economic reforms in last three years, which have simplified procedures?for doing business, he said.”Our policies have ensured that inflation remains below 5 per cent mark. Now, we have foreign exchange reserves of USD 418 billion.”Many new sectors have been opened for 100 per cent FDI through automatic route like automobiles,?textiles, tourism, ports and highways.

“Today, India is one of the most preferred destinations for FDI. India has received highest ever annual FDI of USD 60 billion in 2016-17,” he said.”This year we aim to complete more than 9,000 kilometres length of National Highways. We will?be developing 35,000 kilometers of roads with investment of Rs 5.35 lakh crore under ?Bharatmala? project,” he said, adding the Railways will make an investment of Rs 1.48 lakh crore in 2018-19.? Assam is hosting its first global investors summit?to showcase its manufacturing opportunities and geostrategic advantages to foreign and domestic investors.Modi said development of MSME sector is a priority for the government as this is the back-bone of country’s industries

“In this year?s budget, we are giving a big relief to MSMEs by reducing rate of income tax to 25 per cent on companies reporting a turn-over of up to Rs. 250 crore.”This will benefit almost 99 per cent of companies, he said.Modi said the 2018-19 budget has provided additional deduction to the employees of 30 per cent of the wages paid?for new employees under the Income Tax Act.Further, the women employees? contribution to EPF will be 8 per cent for first three years against existing rate of 12 per centThe prime minister said he was happy to note that Assam is ranked first among the Northeastern states in the Ease of Doing Business report

“I am sure that with the present leadership of the state government,?Assam is going to further improve its current position to emerge as one of the most sought-after states for industrial investment in the country,” he said