Fruits of reforms must reach poorest sections of society: Vice President

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New Delhi: Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday said that government of India’s reform agenda would realize the full potential only when it receives support from all sections of the society.

To achieve the herculean task, he called on business associations and Chambers of Commerce to promote tax compliance and run campaign against the black money.

Addressing the 90th Year Celebrations of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu today, the Vice President said that demonetization and the introduction of GST were landmark initiatives aimed at ensuring transparency, eliminating parallel economy and fetching increased revenue to the exchequer. These initiatives have led to change in the attitude of the people as evidenced by increased tax compliance, he said.

The Vice President said that Government has taken several measures to cut down red tape, improve the ease of doing business, attract more investments and create a business-friendly environment. With various measures taken by the government to step up economic growth, including FDI in various sectors and given the strong macroeconomic fundamentals, India will continue to grow steadily to become the third largest economy in the world, he added.

The Vice President asked the business community not to confine themselves to the minimum requirements of Corporate Social Responsibility but to take up activities for the betterment of the society. Promote ethical corporate governance, tax compliance and corporate social responsibility among its members, he added.

The Vice President told the gathering reminding them India’s great philosophy that has ‘Sharing and Caring’ at its core. In this regard, he advised organizations such as The Coimbatore Chambers to adopt some government schools and contribute towards improving the infrastructure as part of their CSR activities. He said that sectors like agriculture, education and health must receive the highest priority. Government, Parliament and Press must focus on these three core areas, he added.

Saying that Agriculture and Industry were like two eyes of our nation, the Vice President sought the support of the business community to realize the vision of the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi to double the income of farmers by 2022. Agriculture must be made remunerative by encouraging farmers to adopt allied services like poultry, fisheries, horticulture and others, he said adding that it can be achieved through the concerted effort by scientists, farmers, government and business entities, he added.

The Vice President said that encroaching up on rivers, canals and water bodies is a bad habit and termed such actions as contrary to civilizational values. Expressing concern over the depleting water levels in states such as Kerala and Karnataka that recently experienced massive floods, he warned people to be aware of the challenges of climate change. Man-made mistakes such as encroachments would lead to frequent floods. We have played with nature for too long and now it is playing with us, he added. Rising sea levels and depleting groundwater levels are staring back at us. Urgent action is required to tackle the menace, he said asking people to preserve and protect nature.

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