Speaking about a host of issues from India's GDP growth to registration of new taxpayers, PM Modi shed light on his ambition for the country's economy. PM Modi was speaking after laying the foundation of a new office complex of the Ministry of Commerce in Delhi. The Prime Minister spoke about targeting double-digit GDP growth for breaking into the $5 trillion economy club. The world, he said, is watching as to when India would join the $5 trillion economy club by doubling its economy. He also spoke about increasing India's share in world trade to 3.4%.
The Prime Minister said that in four years his government has taken steps to ease the process of doing business in India while maintaining macroeconomic indicators like current account deficit (CAD) within limits. He said that while GDP growth touched 7.7% in the last quarter of 2017-18 fiscal, now is the time to look beyond the 7-8% growth and graduate to double-digit expansion.
Also, the government is targeting doubling India's share in world trade to 3.4 per cent, he said, stressing on reducing dependence on imports in sectors like oil through domestic manufacturing. PM Modi also listed out achievements of his government and said that the country has moved away from a culture of delaying work through 'atkana, latkana and bhatkana' (obstructing, delaying and misguiding), by taking a dig at the former Congress government.
He also invoked Goods and Services Tax (GST) that replaced over a dozen indirect taxes from July 1 last year, and said that it has not only led to ease of doing business but also rise in tax base. PM Modi said 54 lakh new taxpayers have sought registration under the new regime, taking the number of indirect tax payers to over 1 crore, a significant jump from 60 lakh indirect taxpayers in the pre-GST era. Foreign direct investment inflows as well as foreign exchange reserves are at record highs, he added.
The Ministry of Commerce building that PM Modi laid the foundation stone for is expected to cost approximately Rs 226 crore. Located near India Gate, the complex is being built on a plot of 4.33 acres, belonging to erstwhile Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D). The building, according to the ministry, will accommodate about 1,000 officers and other staff, and will be a completely paperless office with modern facilities such as smart access control, video conferencing and completely networked systems. The ministry also added that over 56% of the 214 trees on the plot are either being left untouched or are being replanted on the same plot.