Kolkata: Describing the passage of the GST bill by Parliament as the single biggest reform measure in recent times, President Pranab Mukherjee Monday said the move paves the way for creation of a unified market and promises to boost GDP growth rates by up to 2 percent.
"It paves the way for creation of a unified market for goods and services, and promises to boost GDP growth rates by up to 2 percent over the medium and the long term," he said at a conference here on 'Enabling Make in India through Industry Academia Innovation Platform' organised jointly by CII and IIEST.
"To reap the full benefits of our growth potential, we, however, need to overcome infrastructure bottlenecks, improve the quality of our labour force by educating and skilling them appropriately, and ensure better health standards of the population," he said.
The President also said recent initiatives like 'Make in India', improving the ease of doing business, Invest India, Skilling India and Start-up India aim to address some of these issues and boost our capacity for growth.
Noting that global economic condition continues to remain weak, he said India has established itself firmly as the fastest growing economy with a growth rate of 7.3 percent in 2015.
"We can say confidently that our economy has revived and our prospects are brighter as we are poised to grow at 7.5 percent in both 2016 and 2017," Mukherjee said.
Noting that food prices remained within comfortable levels in the early months of this year, the President warned that "we must remain alert as they have started to rise lately."
He expressed satisfaction at India's foreign exchange reserves which today stand at USD 365 billion.
Mukherjee hoped that India's food grains production will surpass the record of 265 million tonnes achieved 2013-14.
He said that India has initiated the Make in India programme in 25 sectors of the economy, where both national and multinational companies have been invited.