Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Odisha has ports, coastline and linkages with some of the best companies, and we must all be very optimistic that Odisha must emerge as the number one destination for investment in the country, said Niti Aayog CEO, Amitabh Kant.

In an exclusive interview to OTV during his visit to Odisha today, Kant said "Odisha is a very rich state in mineral and human resources terms and has huge potential to emerge as one of the key drivers of India's growth.”

Asked about India's credit rating upgrade by Moody's, Kant stressed that bold reformative measures taken by the government of India has been helpful.

"It is very important that Moody’s has recognised that India has carried out structural, institutional and procedural reforms and we have done that with a lot of fiscal discipline and our fiscal deficit has remained intact. We continue to take bold decisive measures to take India forward," he said.

Commenting on GST, Kant said "As far GST is concerned there was need for one tax across the country. Things were very complicated and it was very difficult for manufacturing in India. Now logistics have improved. Octroi check posts have been removed. Transportation has become 25 to 30 percent cheaper. And as we go along, the government is determined to make GST far more simpler and easier," Kant said, adding that one cannot expect the government to put resources in health, nutrition and education without a higher tax base since India's economy is such where tax to GDP ratio is very low and cash to GDP ratio is very high.

On Prime Minister’s 'Look East' policy, the apex planning body's CEO said without development in all the seven eastern states including Odisha and their 200 districts, it will be very difficult for India to grow. We have to take these states to a high trajectory growth rate, he said.

At a time when the central government is alleged of being unable to create sufficient jobs as it had promised in its 2014 general election manifesto, Kant said huge thrust is being given to skilling and job creation through policies like Digital and Skill India.