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The country can progress only if we end red-tapism . No red tape, only red carpet, is my policy towards investors: Shri Narendra Modi 

Government has no business to be in business, it should play role of a felicitator: Shri Narendra Modi 

Shri Modi speaks on plethora of issues from the state of the economy, low investor confidence to the success of the time tested Gujarat model in an interview with leading financial daily ‘The Economic Times’ 

At a time when  India's  the economy is struggling, when investor confidence is at its lowest ebb and there is intense talk of a ‘policy paralysis’, Shri Narendra Modi shared valuable insights on possible remedial measures that can rid the country of economic doom.

Shri Modi stressed on the need to revive investor confidence through transparent decision-making and proper implementation. He rejected the charge that the Opposition was stalling the growth process and pointed out that it is the UPA that is discriminating with Opposition ruled states. He also articulated an extremely clear line on the role of state as a facilitator vis-a-vis business. This line assumes significance in the wake of rampant misuse of central agencies by the UPA to target select business houses especially those investing in Opposition ruled states. Shri Modi shared these insights during an interview with India’s leading business daily, ‘the Economic Times.’

Shri Modi’s interview has assumed immense significance in the business world. Firstpost, a leading web- based news channel stated that on the economic front, Shri Modi indeed offers a ‘big idea’ as compared to the PM’s ‘tired clichés.’ It adds that right from identifying the root of the problem, Shri Modi goes on to articulate a solution, which ironically the Centre should have. Firstpost also notes that Shri Modi not only has the idea but also has been implementing it successfully in Gujarat over the last decade.

Sharing some parts of the interview.

On reviving investor confidence 

“We can provide safety for their money through clarity in policies, transparency in decision-making and decent implementation. Is the UPA government able to do these? The answer is: NO.”

“…There should be clarity and purpose while making policies. We should create an atmosphere where people can make investment from their office or home. Ambiguities and waffling in policy-making should go.”

“The government should stop painting a rosy picture. If the prime minister accepts reality, he can find an answer. But the problem is that he does not believe in what he is doing. He is not able to even take his decisions to their logical end.”

On the charge that Opposition is not co-operating with the Government on key issues 

“The prime minister and the Congress have been maintaining that the Opposition-run state governments are not aiding the Centre's efforts to put the economy back on rails...

The charge is baseless. Look at what the Centre is doing to state governments' efforts to attract investment. Iron ore is available in abundance in Odisha. But the Congress and the government led by it at the Centre are opposing entry of steel companies into the state.”

“They (UPA) don't want the state government to perform and they place hurdles…The Centre went to the extent of unleashing enforcement agencies on those who promised investments in Gujarat at the Vibrant Gujarat meet . They should stop preaching and do what they are expected to do - govern.”

On Gujarat as an alternative model 

“Gujarat is a very successful model. Look at the investment auto companies have made in the state. Every auto major has its plant in my state. It is because of the efficiency of the state government. We have best quality infrastructure, skilled labour and zero man-day loss.”

“We plan our skill development and infrastructure with the future in mind. In 2012, we plan for 2015.”

On the role of the state in business

“The government has no business to be in business. It should play the role of a facilitator”

“I believe that country can progress only if we end red-tapism. No red tape, only red carpet, is my policy towards investors.”

On Gujarat’s inclusive development 

“Kite festival is a big event in Gujarat. Mainly BPL families are engaged in kite-making. The total business a few years ago was a paltry 32 crore.”

“Women's self-help groups are another example. The government has signed a tripartite agreement with SHGs and corporates. Now, 35 corporates are involved in the project, providing SHGs marketing facility.”

“Last month, we ensured jobs for 65,000 students from ITIs. There are many such initiatives for students, artisans etc.”

“Rajiv Gandhi once said that only 15 paise out of 1 allocation reach the intended beneficiary. But we have ensured that 100% of the money that is allocated from Gandhinagar reaches people.”

“I have a coastline spanning 1,600 km. We have spent Rs 18,000 crore for education, health and other needs of fishermen, who are mostly Muslims.”

“They (Media) talked about me and Gujarat at the Vibrant Gujarat meet. It is an event held once in two years. But does the media pay the same kind of attention to the Krishi Mahostavs that are being held here?”

On examples of Congress discriminatory attitude to Opposition states

“I can reel out at least 100 examples to prove my point. When Atalji was the prime minister, Gujarat and Assam used to get the same royalty on crude. One of the first decisions that the Manmohan Singh took was to slash our share. We are losing around Rs 5,400 crore on this account.”

On the current mood of the nation 

I will agree with the assessment that there is popular revulsion for Congress.

On the confidence of the people of Gujarat in the BJP 

“We have won the confidence of the people of Gujarat in 2002, 2004 parliamentary elections, 2005 local bodies election, 2007 assembly polls, 2009 Lok Sabha election and 2010 local bodies poll.”

Read the complete interview with Economic Times. 

On economy, PM offers tired clichés; Modi offers a big idea’- read this complete article of Shri Modi’s economic vision and its relevance in the wake of India’s financial crisis.

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Package for Promotion of Digital and Cashless Economy
December 08, 2016
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Govt introduces a package of incentives for promotion of digital and cashless economy
0.75% discount on purchase of petrol/diesel through digital means
Deployment of 2 POS devices each in 1 Lakh villages with population of less than 10,000
Discount upto 0.5% for monthly or seasonal tickets from January 1, 2017, if payment is made digitally
All railway passengers buying online ticket shall be given free accidental insurance cover of upto Rs. 10 lakh

In the aftermath of the cancellation of the legal tender character of old Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 notes, there has been a surge in the digital transactions through use of credit/debit cards and mobile phone applications/e-wallets etc. To further accelerate this process, the Central Government has decided on a package of incentives and measures for promotion of digital and cashless economy in the country. 

These incentives/measures are following: 

  1. The Central Government Petroleum PSUs shall give incentive by offering a discount at the rate of 0.75% of the sale price to consumers on purchase of petrol/diesel if payment is made through digital means.

Nearly 4.5 crore customers buy petrol or diesel at such petrol pumps per day who can take benefit of this incentive scheme.  It is estimated that petrol/diesel worth Rs.1800 crore is sold per day to the customers out of which nearly 20% was being paid through digital means.  In the month of November 2016 it has increased to 40% and the cash transaction of Rs.360 crore per day have got shifted to cashless transaction methods.  The incentive scheme has the potential of shifting at least 30% more customer to digital means which will further reduce the cash requirement of nearly Rs. 2 lakh crore per year at the petrol pumps.

  1. To expand digital payment infrastructure in rural areas, the Central Government through NABARD will extend financial support to eligible banks for deployment of 2 POS devices each in 1 Lakh villages with population of less than 10,000.  These POS machines are intended to be deployed at primary cooperative societies/milk societies/agricultural input dealers to facilitate agri-related transactions through digital means.

This will benefit farmers of one lakh village covering a total population of nearly 75 crore who will have facility to transact cashlessly in their villages for their agri needs. 

  1. The Central Government through NABARD will also support Rural Regional Banks and Cooperative Banks to issue “Rupay Kisan Cards” to 4.32 crore Kisan Credit Card holders to enable them to make digital transactions at POS machines/Micro ATMs/ATMs.
  1. Railway through its sub urban railway network shall provide incentive by way of discount upto 0.5% to customers for monthly or seasonal tickets from January 1, 2017, if payment is made through digital means.

Nearly 80 lakh passengers use seasonal or monthly ticket on suburban railways, largely in cash, spending worth nearly Rs.2,000 crore per year.  As more and more passengers will shift to digital means the cash requirement may get reduced by Rs.1,000 crore per year in near future.

  1. All railway passengers buying online ticket shall be given free accidental insurance cover of upto Rs. 10 lakh.

Nearly 14 lakh railway passengers are buying tickets everyday out of which 58% tickets are bought online through digital means.  It is expected that another 20% passengers may shift to digital payment methods of buying railway tickets.  Hence nearly 11 lakh passengers per day will be covered under the accidental insurance scheme.

  1. For paid services e.g. catering, accommodation, retiring rooms etc. being offered by railways through its affiliated entities/corporations to the passengers, it will provide a discount of 5% for payment of these services through digital means.

All the passengers travelling on railways availing these services may avail the benefit.

  1. Public sector insurance companies will provide incentive, by way of discount or credit, upto 10% of the premium in general insurance policies and 8% in new life policies of Life Insurance Corporation sold through the customer portals, in case payment is made through digital means.
  1. The Central Government Departments and Central Public Sector Undertakings will ensure that transactions fee/MDR charges associated with payment through digital means shall not be passed on to the consumers and all such expenses shall be borne by them.  State Governments are being advised that the State Governments and its organizations should also consider to absorb the transaction fee/MDR charges related to digital payment to them and consumer should not be asked to bear it.
  1. Public sector banks are advised that merchant should not be required to pay more than Rs. 100 per month as monthly rental for PoS terminals/Micro ATMs/mobile POS from the merchants to bring small merchant on board the digital payment eco system.

Nearly 6.5 lakh machines by Public Sector Banks have been issued to merchants who will be benefitted by the lower rentals and promote digital transactions.  With lower rentals, more merchants will install such machines and promote digital transactions. 

  1. No service tax will be charged on digital transaction charges/MDR for transactions upto Rs.2000 per transaction.
  1. For the payment of toll at Toll Plazas on National Highways using RFID card/Fast Tags, a discount of 10% will be available to users in the year 2016-17.