With the crucial Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill becoming a political handle in the slugfest between the ruling BJP and the Congress Party, the washout of the Monsoon session has sent a clear signal among the investors that there is no consensus in Parliament on economic reforms.
In a statement, ASSOCHAM said, “That is unfortunate. For all these years, we have been telling the world that whatever be the level of political differences, there is a broad consensus on economic reforms among the major two parties on a wider spectrum. Such a premise does not seem to be holding good any more”.
“Whether it was FDI in multi-brand retail or now GST, the key reforms tend to become the bones of contention and sticking points between the major political rivals. That hurts the economic growth. By not passing the GST Bill, we have missed such a big opportunity of aggregating the vast and diverse country into a single market sooner than later”, ASSOCHAM President Mr Rana Kapoor said.
He said poverty, lack of health and education and unemployment are the main challenges for the country along with fixing the agriculture sector. It was by fixing these sectors that China managed to become an economic powerhouse of the world, so much as that any tinkering in that economy shakes the entire world.
Kapoor further said, “India has to get its act together. Fortunately, with global commodity prices being low, things are favourable for unleashing some bold economic reforms which can yield big results, without causing any pains”.
The passage of GST Bill would not only have helped the country move towards uniform tax regime, but also sent a strong message that India is a place to be in for the global investors.
“With China slowing down, India is at the cusp of a bigger opportunity, which we should have grabbed. Unfortunately, political events of the last few weeks do not support the business environment”, the ASSOCHAM President said.