A socio-economic environment against the tenets of India’s foundations as a country have led to a landscape unconducive to business in the country, Rahul Gandhi, the president of the Indian National Congress, said in Dubai.
India right now, “has an atmosphere that has been spoilt,” according to Gandhi. “India is known for non-violence and being peace-loving in nature. And when people look at India and see violence, they get worried.”
Gandhi’s statements were in response to questions by Arabian Business while on a two-day trip the UAE that culiminated in a session entitled ‘The Idea of India’ last night.
A member of India’s foremost political dynasty, that has produced three generations of prime ministers, this was Gandhi’s first visit to the UAE and only the second by a President of the Congress Party in the last 40 years.
Gandhi is pitting himself as a rival to incumbent PM Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which has been accused of promoting sentiment that has led to communal tensions across India.
“This is something we will change,” said Gandhi last night.
India has also suffered from “ill-advised and badly thought out moves such as demonetisation and five layers of general sales tax (GST)” that are “central reasons” behind an Indian economy Gandhi said is slowing.
In his responses, Gandhi pointed out to a “14 year low with respect to investment flows into India.”
However it is possible that Gandhi was referring to the bottoming of capital expense and infrastructure investment projects by public and private businesses in India which recorded their lowest levels since 2004.
Foreign direct investment into India has grown to nearly $61 billion in 2018, compared to $45 billion in 2015. However, Gandhi’s statements could be vindicated in the sense that the FDI growth rate in the country has slowed to just 1.24%
Gandhi vowed to “embrace investments from the Middle East,” in his responses last night by “restructuring the GST” and other making other moves.”
“The Modi-era is a blip” he said, adding that, “We will put an end to the division and anger that is being spread by the BJP and take some rational economic decisions.”
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