India is a “bright spot” for investment: Modi assures Merkel

Bengaluru :Positioning India as a “bright spot” for investment in the current global slowdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said it makes strong business sense to be in the country, assuring investors of simple and predictable tax regime as well as IPR protection.

He also said government hopes to roll out the Goods and Services Tax next year.

“We have introduced the GST Bill in Parliament; we hope to roll it out in 2016,” he told top business leaders at the Indo-German Summit here, sharing the dais with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Highlighting “decisive steps” taken by his government, Modi said it was working on a new bankruptcy code, forming the Company Law Tribunal and is keen to “see that genuine investors and honest tax payers get quick and fair decisions on tax matters”.

He said government had taken a number of steps to remove long pending concerns of investors, including expediting regulatory clearances, increasing the validity period of Industrial Licences across the board and delicencing a number of defence items.

“We have clearly articulated that we will not resort to retrospective taxation and reinforced this position by not going for imposition of Minimum Alternate Tax on FPIs,” he said, projecting resolution of an issue that was of major concern for investors.

“Thus, just in 15 months, we have successfully restored the credibility of India in the eyes of global players,” he told the business leaders—the who’s who of the India Inc, particularly the IT sector, as also the German industry.

On Intellectual Property Rights, Modi said India is committed to protecting IPR of all innovators as well as entrepreneurs, and a comprehensive National IPR policy is being finalised that would be progressive and forward looking.

“I can say that never before India was so well prepared to absorb talent, technology and investment from outside.”

Stressing that the necessary conditions to propel the Indian economy to a high growth trajectory do exist today, he said it makes strong business sense to be in India. “It makes even better business sense to Make in India.”

“At a time of global slowdown, India represents a bright spot for investments. We are fortunate to be sailing in the right direction,” Modi said, but cautioned that “we cannot afford to be complacent”.