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Ease of doing business in India needs to be improved: IGCC


Hannover: India has a lot of potential of attracting international business but the ‘ease of doing’ business has to be improved, according to Indo-German Chamber of Commerce which pins hopes on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this regard.

Bernhard Steinruecke, Director General of the Chamber, hailed Modi’s ‘Make-in-India’ programme and said German companies are “very optimistic” about India.

“It is a very good campaign. India needs manufacturing. On the other hand, Germans are probably the best in manufacturing. So, it is a win-win situation,” he told.

Steinruecke, former General Manager of Deutsche Bank, said India has a lot of potential as it has growth rate and a market and “everyone who wants to be a part of international industry has to be in India.”

At the same time, he noted that India’s place in the list of ‘ease of doing business’ is “still in the wrong place” and “a lot of improvement has to come”.

Contending that it is possible, he said the approach of Prime Minister Modi to make things easier is “the most important thing” and “if the government is doing it, things will improve more”.

Asked to comment on rules and regulations, Steinruecke, who has seen Indian system from close quarters, said: “it can always be better”.

On taxation in India, he said, “it is complex but tax systems are complex all over the world. Even in Germany they are complex.”

He said taxation rules are “always a challenge” all over the world “because there is a lot of work and sometimes there are things that are not cleared.”

He then referred to the Retrospective Tax rule brought by the previous government two years back and said, “it was not good” and “caused a lot of problems”.

On this, he is pinning hopes on the new government. “The new government has said it will not have tax like that. From that angle, it is going in the right direction.”

Steinruecke, however, said German companies were not dissuaded by the Retrospective Tax.

“We have 1600 German companies in India. They are still interested and they are interested in investing more,” he added.

German companies, which have a good track record, are “very optimistic about India”, he said, adding that they “will do more” and “this is the time”.

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