New Delhi: Shamika Ravi, member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council has said that despite the government’s reforms push, much more could have been done over the last four years when the NDA government of Prime Minister Modi has been in power. She observed that Modi’s election was on the development plank and there was the promise of economic reforms. However, liberalisation did not match up to the expectations.
In an interview to PTI, Ravi, who is also a senior fellow at Brookings India, said, “I think the country had an appetite for big bang economic reforms. We could have done a lot.”
The Modi government introduced Goods and Services Tax (GST), Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) and considerably eased the foreign direct investment regime in four years, Ravi said.
“The government could have done much more,” she said and added “On the economic front, Modi’s election, I think, was a mandate for development & economic reforms.”
“Starting with ITDC Hotels, Air India, in fact we had list of PSUs that we should have definitely pushed ahead (for stake sale),” Ravi observed. Stating that there was a thriving private airlines business in India, she questioned the government’s intention of reviving Air India. “I have lesser faith in government to run businesses. What is the business plan for turnaround of Air India and why should we do it? We have a thriving private airlines business in this country,” she noted.
On the ongoing global tariff wars, Ravi said that it’s a great opportunity for India. “We should be stepping up and trying to fill the gap,” she observed.
On March 9, US president Donald Trump imposed heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminum items following which China and the European Union hit back by imposing retaliatory tariffs against the US products. Noting that India had to compete in the global market, Ravi said the country would have to make its corporate tax rate equivalent to countries like Vietnam.
“Despite the fact that there is push back in globalisation everywhere, markets today are far more unified and interlinked than they have ever been. To compete with countries like Vietnam, of course our taxes have to be reduced,” the EAC-PM member said.