India: Modi promises to enhance ease of doing business



**By APD Writer Rishika Chauhan **

NEW DELHI, October 8 (APD) -- Addressing the country on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised that the recently introduced economic reforms would help small and medium businesses.

He said that the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) would make sure that businessmen are not caught up in unnecessary formalities and red tapes.

Speaking in his home province, he said, “Today, I have seen newspapers from across the country. They carry headlines that Diwali festival has come 15 days early.”

Modi defended his government, which is being criticized by opposition parties for its decision of demonetizing currency notes in November last year and for recently imposing the new GST tax.

“We do not want the country’s business class to get caught in red tapism, files, bureaucracy, I will never want this. I am thankful to the people of the country for the way they have welcomed our effort to make tax simpler,” he said.

The GST is a newly introduced tax, it incorporates several state level taxes to make taxation simpler and transparent throughout the country.

However, since its launch on July 1 it has caused hardships to many sectors, especially the small and medium businesses as it involves filing of complex monthly tax processes.

The textile industry, especially retailers, had threatened not to light lamps during the upcoming festival of Diwali, unless GST slabs were revised.

To address these concerns the GST council recently announced a number of changes in its rules, including lower tax rates on 27 items and reduced tax rate on exports.