World Bank Pres­i­dent lauds PM’s re­form agenda

Says pri­vate sec­tor in­vest­ment to pick up as GST sta­bilises

The Hindu Business Line - - NEWS - SURABHI

In a pat to the NDA gov­ern­ment which has been fac­ing flak for slow­ing growth, World Bank Pres­i­dent Jim Yong Kim on Thurs­day lauded re­forms by Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi and in­di­cated it would be re­flected in In­dia’s rank­ing in the Ease of Do­ing Busi­ness re­port

“Prime Min­is­ter Modi took a very dif­fer­ent ap­proach to the Do­ing Busi­ness re­port and took sub­stan­tial re­forms. We are very en­cour­aged by this,” he said in re­sponse to a ques­tion by Busi­nessLine.

While de­clin­ing to give a pol­icy pre­scrip­tion for In­dia as the “gov­ern­ment has al­ready pri­ori­tised its agenda”, Kim said that eco­nomic growth in the medium and long term will re­flect the progress from the re­forms.

The World Bank in its re­cent growth out­look has low­ered World Bank Pres­i­dent Jim Yong Kim In­dia’s GDP fore­cast to seven per cent due to dis­rup­tions from the Goods and Ser­vices Tax and de­mon­eti­sa­tion and has also un­der­lined weak pri­vate in­vest­ment as a key chal­lenge.

How­ever, Kim said that GST will be good for Indian econ­omy. “Com­pa­nies are wait­ing for it to sta­bilise be­fore tak­ing more ac­tion on in­vest­ments and ex­pan­sion,” he said.

“In­dia has been talk­ing about GST for a long time…well be­fore Prime Min­is­ter Modi,” he noted, adding that the GST will boost growth as it will cut down de­lays in truck move­ment and in­te­grate the coun­try into a na­tional mar­ket.

Last week, Kim had said that In­dia’s eco­nomic slow­down, with GDP growth hit­ting a three-year low of 5.7 per cent in the first quar­ter was only “tem­po­rary and an aber­ra­tion”.

Ad­dress­ing a press con­fer­ence at the launch of the An­nual Meet­ings of the World Bank and In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund, Kim said the global econ­omy is pick­ing up and trade is also in­creas­ing but pri­vate in­vest­ment re­mains weak.

He also urged coun­tries to in­vest in hu­man cap­i­tal.

(The writer is in Wash­ing­ton DC as part of the IMF Jour­nal­ism Fel­low­ships 2017 to cover the an­nual meet­ings of the IMF and World Bank.)


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