Major reforms made to curb corruption says Modi in WSJ interview

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The Indian government has made major policy reforms to curb corruption and opened up  more of the economy to foreign investment while filling gaps in rural infrastructur, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on the eve of his second anniversary in office, Modi said: “I have actually undertaken the maximum reforms.” But, he added, “I have an enormous task ahead for myself.”

The prime minister said he has set a path for accelerated growth that the states now need to help navigate. Modi said that many of the changes he has put in place would have been regarded in previous administrations as difficult to implement, but now that he has done them, to his critics they no longer qualify as “big bang”.

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He said he has “opened up more of the economy to foreign investment and made changes to curb corruption, filled gaps in rural infrastructure and made it easier to do business”. The prime minister also said he would look to states to further liberalise the country’s rigid labour laws. “Labour reform should not just mean in the interest of industry. It should also be in the interest of the labourer,” Modi said.

He said he expects the long-pending Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill to be passed this year. The bill has been stuck in the Rajya Sabha of parliament, where the government is in a minority.

Modi said in the last two years, India played a prominent role in global affairs. “Today, unlike before, India is not standing in a corner,” he said.

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Modi will visit Washington early next month where he is to meet President Barack Obama and address a joint session of the US Congress. IANS

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