Obama lauds India PM Narendra Modi for ushering 'bold' tax reforms

Obama and Modi met on the sidelines of the G20 meeting. (File photo) Photograph:( Getty )

Hangzhou, China Sep 04, 2016, 05.53 PM (IST)

US President Barack Obama today praised Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for ushering "bold" tax reforms in India.

The Indian parliament had cleared a landmark tax law named Goods and Services Tax in August. The law has been broadly lauded for simplifying India's taxation structure. 

Modi first met Obama briefly when they were onstage to pose for a family photograph at the G20 Summit venue in this eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou. The two leaders had another opportunity to exchange views during an informal evening programme.

Obama in his intervention during the G20 summit praised Modi for the recent tax reform as an example of "bold policy" in an otherwise "difficult global economic scenario".

Later, Modi said that more than just "difficult conversations" needed to be taken to tackle the economic downturn. 

China President Xi Jinping also sounded alarm about the current economic climate.

Rise in protectionist policies have pushed global economy to the brink, warned Xi Jinping on the first of the two-day G20 summit.

Jinping stressed the need to come around to work towards righting the depressed global economy. 

The comments come a month after Australia stonewalled a Chinese bid of $7.7 billion to buy the country's biggest energy grid, a move perceived to be being protectionist in nature.

"Growth drivers from the previous round of technological progress are gradually fading, while a new round of technological and industrial revolution has yet to gain momentum," he said.

Xi also asked the G20 nations to back the talk. "We should turn the G20 group into an action team, instead of a talk shop," he said.

Meanwhile, the security remained tight in Hangzhou to ensure the summit passed off incident-free.