In a terse message to industry, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has blamed private sector of still being stuck with "legacy issues" like tax terrorism and selective exemption, and said that "red tape" can't be removed only for Mukesh Ambani and not for a common man.
The Prime Minister also said his "job is not to spoon-feed anyone" and the industry can come on board if it fits into the government's policies, or else stay where they are.
Stressing that his government is working for the common man and his priority is the poor of the country, Modi said in an interview to The Hindustan Times newspaper that the industry has to come forward to take the benefits of the process that has been set in motion for good governance.
"The government's job is good governance for everybody. My government will make policies, if you fit into it, come on board, or stay where you are."
"My job is not to spoon-feed anyone. The private sector of the country is still stuck with legacy issues of governance - these include tax terrorism, duty inversion and selective exemption. That is why we tried to address many such issues during the Budget of 2015-16 and to correct them across the board. We know that such steps are important for creating jobs and opportunities for millions of Indians. I repeat my assurance to all: If you take one step; we will walk two steps for you," Modi said.
He was replying to a question on the business community being upset that not much has changed in terms of ease of doing business and about a spate of tax notices, which have been recently issued to a large number of foreign investors.
Modi's comments assume significance in the wake of eminent banker Deepak Parekh having said recently that not much had changed on ground in the first nine months of his government and there was little improvement on 'ease of doing business'.
Similar comments have been made by some other industry leaders as well, including Harsh Mariwala who tweeted earlier this week that "sheen is falling of Modi govt in the context of promises, and gradual delivery. Need to move fast..."
Interestingly, NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya also said recently that the sentiment that nothing has changed on the ground was very much there, although a turnaround was visible in the economic growth.
In reply to the question on business community being upset, Modi said: "First of all, you have to understand that my government is working for the common man. Our priority is the poor of the country. We want good governance through a dynamic and seamless government. Results are visible in all sectors. Industry has to come forward to take the benefits of the process we have set in motion."
He also asked the media to "counterpose two things together-the allegations our Congress friends level against us, and the complaints that businessmen have. The Congress says we are a government of industrialists and industrialists say we do nothing for them!"
Modi said his job is to run a policy-driven government.
"Red tape nahin hona chahiye; Ab red tape nahin hona chahiye matlab Mukesh Ambani ke liye red tape na ho aur ek common man ke liye red tape ho, waisa nahin chal sakta (Red tape should not be there does not mean it should not be there for Mukesh Ambani, but be there for a common man; that won't do.)"
Asked about the major achievements of his government in ten months after coming to power, Modi said this needs to be seen with reference to the past.
"In what situation did the people bring us to power? And what is the situation now? Is there a policy paralysis anymore? No. Is there a transparency issue? No. Is there stagnancy in governance? No. Instead, there is dynamism," he said.
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