Fundamentals of Indian economy strong, no reason for being despondent: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks in the Lok Sabha, during the ongoing Budget Session of Parliament, in New Delhi. Photo: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the fundamentals of the Indian economy were strong and had inherent capability for higher growth rates.

Replying to the debate in Rajya Sabha on a motion thanking the president for his address to the joint sitting of both houses of Parliament, he said there was no reason for being despondent.

Rejecting pessimism over the target of nearly doubling the size of the economy to $5 trillion, he said aspirational targets were needed to move ahead.

"There is no question of thinking small. Pessimism and gloom do not help us. We talk about a USD 5-trillion economy. Yes the aim is ambitious, but we have to think big and think ahead," he said, adding his government is focusing on infrastructure development, small businesses, textiles, startups, and tourism.

Modi said the focus on 'Make in India', his government's flagship scheme to boost domestic manufacturing, is yielding results.

Also, tax compliance is being simplified to make it easier to do business in the country.

On Goods and Services Tax (GST), which from July 2017 amalgamated 17 different central and state taxes, he said frequent changes were a reflection of federal structure of the country and showed the government was willing to improve the law.

On Gujarat opposing GST when he was the chief minister, Modi said he had wanted concerns of manufacturing-states such as Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra to be addressed before rolling out of tax regime.

These concerns, he said, were addressed when his government came to power, ensuring rollout of the landmark tax reform.

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