Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said India needs to further ease its business processes to boost foreign and domestic investments, even as he admitted that the country has been impacted by global trade shrinkages.
Terming 'ease of doing business' in India as an "important work which is still in progress", Jaitley also said that the Modi government has been able to straighten several laws and was trying to make taxation systems compatible with the global standards.
Addressing the Sydney campus of the S P Jain School of Global Management after arriving this morning on a four-day visit to Australia, Jaitley said the NDA government also been able to make headway in terms of eliminating corruption and it was working on removing discretions of all forms.
Jaitley, who was welcomed by Indian high commissioner Navdeep Suri and S P Jain School President Nitish Jain at the jam-packed event where he spoke on 'Reimagining the Indian Economy', said the global trade shrinkages has impacted India too in terms of uncertainties in stock and currency markets, which Australia itself has also witnessed.
"Opening of the Indian economy and sectors like insurance, railways, defence and several others which were earlier unavailable for FDI has helped us," Jaitley said.
Listing various measures taken since the NDA government came to power in May 2014, Jaitley said, "We have also removed the unnecessary conditionalities which was slowing down foreign direct investments and this, probably in greenfield projects, has made India the most sought after destination as far as FDI is concerned".
"The second important challenge was not only to improve India's image but.... image gets improved by the fact that in actual operation those who domestically do business and those who intend to invest in India go back with an impression that it is easy to do business in India," he said.
"In term of ease of doing business, you are measured by the stability of policies, by predictability, by cutting short the time between the decision to make investment and actual implementation... you need few approvals and easy approvals," he said.
He said that for India, the system was to get approval from multiple authorities which could frustrate the investors.
"I can claim that we have achieved everything but I think there is a greater realisation in India that in the competitive world today not only to attract foreign investors but also persuading domestic investors, we will have to ease our business processes," he said adding "that's an important work which is still in progress as far as India is concerned".
He also said that the government has been able to make a headway in terms of eliminating corruption.