Veteran industrialist Adi Godrej today cautioned against high tax rates under the GST, as he praised the Narendra Modi government for being reform-oriented and bringing down corruption and crony capitalism.
In an interview to PTI, the Chairman of Godrej Group made a strong pitch for lower rates of taxes.
“Now, we are going to finalise the GST rates of taxes. And some people are talking about higher rates that will be very much against the interests of the economy. So, reasonable and low rates will be the best for the economy,” he said.
On his assessment of the performance of the 27-month-old Modi government, Godrej, a former President of Confederation of Indian Industry, said the government has done quite well.
“They are clearly free enterprise-oriented, very clearly they are reform-oriented and, at last, the GST Constitutional Amendment Bill passed that is to mind is the single most important reform after 1991. So, I think they have done a good job. And they have improved ease of doing business, and we should continue strongly on that path”, he said.
Asked if there are areas where the Modi government has “fallen short”, he said: “That’s not the issue, nothing is perfect. Because of political reasons, somethings may not be done. But Now, lot of the things have been done. I think they have taken good steps. Overall, I compliment them.”
“Corruption has come down quite a lot, especially at the higher level, and I think crony capitalism has come down a lot. And that’s very good. I think passing of the constitutional amendment bill for GST is a very good achievement,” Godrej said in response to a query.
He disagreed with some commentators who claimed the country’s high GDP growth is job-less one causing concern.
“I don’t agree with that at all. Lots of jobs are being created. Perhaps not enough for every body who is entering the workforce, and for that we need more skilling and training. Today, the problem is not of people who are skilled and trained not getting jobs. Problem of people don’t have the skills for the jobs that are available”, Godrej said.
Asked if there are areas of concern which could come in the way of the country’s development and progress, he said, “there are, but these are generally some social issues, some points but I don’t think we should pay too much attention to that. So long as we have good economic policies, free enterprise and ease of doing business, India will progress dramatically”.
On whether issues like social conflict, Dalit upsurge and unrest in Kashmir have the potential to derail the country’s growth story, Godrej said India being a large and diverse country some issues would always come up but one must approach them sensibly and solve them.