Mumbai, Jan 31: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Jan 30 met with the business community members who put forth their demands and suggestions on a host of issues- ranging from ease of doing business to tax structure, in front of the minister.
Swaraj assured the community that their points will be conveyed to the Prime Minister. The community expressed unhappiness over certain existing provisions related to trade and industry, and wanted more specific measures to improve ease of doing business, she said.
"I am very happy to see that people gathered here have expressed their concerns and listed demands without any hesitation. When I go to Delhi, I will convey to (to PM and Finance Minister) that business people are not happy with current situation," Swaraj said.
The Foreign Minister was speaking at an interactive session with representatives from the business and corporate world on the second and last day of her visit to Mumbai.
"I am here as a postman and will discharge my duty perfectly. I will convey not only your demands, objections and suggestion, but also your feelings manifested here to Prime Minister and Finance Minster."
Swaraj was in the city as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's directive to his ministers to reach out to the people on the work done by the NDA Government.
In the last two days, the senior BJP leader interacted with 32 different groups of businesspeople, students, youth, legal and medical professionals, representatives of capital market, minority community members, SMEs, small traders, women self-help groups, CAs, teachers and unorganised labourers.
Elaborating on demands/suggestions made by these groups, Swaraj said they related to reducing industrial licencing requirements, simplifying tax procedures, keeping watch on online pharmacy and lowering services tax rate, among others. She advocated removal of certain commodities from trading on commodity exchanges.
"This issue had been raised in the past too. It has been found that whenever the price of edible commodities rises, they (exchanges) have a key role in it. Hence, I agree with your presentation that edible commodities should be kept away from commodity exchanges," she said.
BJP Member of Parliament Kirit Somaiya said "commodity exchanges are being manipulated by some multi-national companies, leading to rise in prices of items like pulses."