President lauds Look East, Act East policies, GST

Kolkata: President Pranab Mukherjee today lauded the Centre’s Look East and Act East policies, saying these would open up new areas of opportunities and new markets in ASEAN nations and some other countries, and will benefit entrepreneurs of Eastern India.

Besides, the recently passed GST Bill would ensure that transition cost and double taxation are minimised and a common national market evolved to benefit the people involved in business and trade, the President said, inaugurating the new building of Bharat Chamber of Commerce here.

Highly appreciative of the Look East and Act East policies, Mukherjee went deep into the past and recollected that India served as the hub of international trade right from the times of the Egyptian, Mesopotamian and Greek civilisations.

“It was the Eastern part of India that had fuelled and sustained the European and British revolutions in the 16th and 17th centuries and it was here that the great industrialisation dream of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in early post independent India took shape,” the President said.

Mukherjee said as a Finance Minister of the country, he had an opportunity to shape and foster policies aimed at revolutionising the East’s economic growth and the same may be played out during the next decade or so.

He urged the entrepreneurs of Bharat Chamber of Commerce to avail the opportunities and drive the engines of growth in right direction.

The President even asked them to utilise the growth models and techniques taking into account the ways and means that ensure equitable growth, which is not limited to the affluent colonies of Kolkata and other state capitals, but one that reaches out to the villages in the hinterland.

The President recollected the rich heritage of Eastern India comprising West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Assam, Odisha and other North Eastern states as the land of renaissance.

Apart from being the breeding ground of various cultures and religions, the region witnessed the excellence in indigenous handlooms, setting up of nascent industries around jute, tea, iron ore, coal and petroleum, he said.

The President said India has to continue its march forward and has to sustain the growth rate it has achieved during the decades of post liberalization and in this work the eastern part of India would have to fire the engine of growth.