India set to be ‘extremely attractive’ place for business: Jaitley

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Singapore, Nov 15 (PTI): With greater digitisation and formalisation of financial activities and businesses, India is set to become an “extremely attractive” country to do business, finance minister Arun Jaitley said in Singapore on Wednesday.

Speaking at the Singapore Fintech Festival, Jaitley said the ongoing process of digitisation was a result of Aaadhar scheme coupled with financial inclusion, post demonetisation followed by the massive exercise on the improvement in the digital eco-payment system as well as the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax from July 1, 2017.

With greater digitisation and greater formalisation, India is set to become an extremely attractive place to do business, he said.

Jaitley drew the conference’s attention to India’s improved ranking in the World Bank’s ease of doing business index released on October 31.

India jumped up 30 notches into the top 100 rankings on the World Bank’s ease of doing business index.

He, however, acknowledged short-term challenges for the country in implementing strategic initiatives such as demonetisation and the GST.

“But I have not the least doubt in my mind that the medium to long term, this is bound to produce long-term returns as far as the Indian economy is concerned,” said Jaitley.

The finance minister painted a big picture of the Indian economy, saying it is growing at a reasonable rate, integration of the formal with the informal economy as well as structural changes are taking place while the tax base itself is expanding.

A lot of transaction, that took place through the cash economy, is today getting increasingly digitalised and going through the banking system, he pointed out.

Jaitley, who is on a two-day visit to Singapore, will meet Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam and finance minister Heng Swee Keat.

On Thursday, he will meet Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and speak at the annual Asia Pacific Summit of global financial institutions being organised by Morgan Stanley.

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