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‘India is Replacing Red Tape With Red Carpet’: Modi’s Investment Pitch in Davos

File photo of PM Narendra Modi

File photo of PM Narendra Modi

To woo foreign investors, the Prime Minister said that 1,400 archaic laws that were becoming roadblocks in India's growth have been removed and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has been implemented.

New Delhi: Pitching India as an investment destination at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday told world leaders and global CEOs that the country has replaced the infamous bureaucratic red tape with a red carpet for businesses.

"We have made it so easy to invest in India, manufacture in India and work in India. We have decided to uproot licence and permit Raj. We are replacing red tape with red carpet," he said to loud applause at the plenary session.

Modi said the government is following the principle of reform, perform and transform and listed the steps taken by his government to improve ease of doing business, which he said were reflective in the country’s big jump in several economic rankings.

To woo foreign investors, the Prime Minister said that 1,400 archaic laws that were becoming roadblocks in India's growth have been removed and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has been implemented, among others.

Come to India was his message: “If you want wellness along with wealth, wholeness along with health and peace with prosperity”.

But he stressed that he did not want just any kind of growth and has focused on inclusive development, which has been key to all government programmes, whether it is Jan Dhan Yojana, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao or Direct Benefit Transfer through digital infrastructure.

Modi is the first Indian prime minister in two decades to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meet, whose theme this year is 'Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World'.

He sought to position India in a leadership role globally and urged leaders to come together to help the world get rid of its fractures.

In a strong message against protectionism and inward-focused economic policies being practised by some countries, Modi said such tendencies can be as dangerous as terrorism and climate change.

"There are many questions before us that require answer for generations to come. Is the existing international system promoting fractures and rift in this world? Can we remove these rifts and distances to make a good shared future?" the PM said.

In what was seen as an apparent reference to policies like America First, especially since US President Donald Trump will be coming to Davos later this week, Modi said, "Many countries are becoming inward focused and globalisation is shrinking and such tendencies can't be considered lesser risk than terrorism or climate change."

Referring to this year's summit theme, Modi said it was relevant for him as Indians have always believed in uniting and not dividing people.

"We always talk about 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' (world is one family)," the PM said, adding that the problem today is lack of consensus to tackle the problems. Even in families there are differences but there is always a feeling to tackle it collectively whenever there is a common threat, he noted.

"In an interconnected world, globalisation is losing its lustre. Do global organisations created after the Second World War really reflect the aspirations and dreams of mankind today? With respect to the developing countries there is a very big gap," he said.

According to Modi, everyone talks about interconnected world but it needs to be admitted that globalisation is losing its sheen and there is a big gap between the developed and developing world.

Protectionism is rearing its head and there is risk of new tariff and non-tariff barriers coming up, the Prime Minister said, as he mentioned that division is not the solution to this problem of anti-globalisation.

"Mahatma Gandhi had said I don't want doors and windows of my house to be closed and I want winds of cultures of all countries to come inside but I won't accept it if that uproots my own culture," Modi said.