Kathmandu, September 20- Regional economies in South Asia, including Nepal, will benefit from the reform initiatives of India to attract investment for accelerated economic growth, said Rajiv Kumar, vice chair of the NITI Aayog – the revamped National Planning Commission of India.

Delivering a public lecture here titled ‘The Promise of Economic Reforms, Innovation and Connectivity’ organised jointly by Kathmandu University, Barbara Foundation and Institute for Integrated Development Studies, the vice chair of NITI Aayog said that India is in a comfortable position to achieve nearly double digit growth of around eight per cent for the next few years because of the reforms initiated by the incumbent Modi government.

“Growth will hover around 7.5 per cent in India this year because of the impact of the goods and services tax (GST) as small scale exporters faced hassles to come into the GST bracket in the initial year of the execution of the new tax system,” he said.

Kumar highlighted on the entry and exit policy for foreign investors in India, which has been simplified through reforms in the entire foreign investment regime. “As per the earlier exit policy, it took almost a decade for foreign investors to exit but now it will take not more than two years,” he stated.

The vice chair of NITI Aayog also highlighted that production augmentation in India ultimately benefits Nepal as the production units in Nepal can explore the potential to be integrated in the larger scale production units in India. He said that the government of India has plans to increase connectivity with Nepal through roadways, railways and air connectivity, among others.“The provinces of Nepal can also be connected with Indian cities through air and railway connectivity to Kathmandu from Raxaul has already been announced,” he said.

Kumar stressed on five ‘Ts’ for deepening Nepal-India economic and socio-cultural ties, as both countries share unique relation since long. According to him, both the countries should look into traditional relations, strengthening trade relations, promotion of tourism, share innovation and technology and transport connectivity, which will help Nepal take the leap towards economic development. He underscored the need of trust between the two nations for moving ahead.

Source: The HImalayan Times

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