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States to prepare action plans in 98 areas for 'Ease of Doing Business': DIPP Secretary, Amitabh Kant
The Centre has asked the states to prepare action plans in regard to 98 specific areas and report the progress by May 31to improve Ease of Doing Business while the government will need to ensure that the complicated 2013 Land Acquisition Act is changed and made investor friendly, DIPP Secretary Amitabh Kant said at an Assocham Industry Interactive session today in New Delhi.
Addressing the Industry Interactive session organised by the associated chamber of commerce and Industry of India (Assocham), the Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) Amitabh Kant said, the 2013 Land Acquisition Act is the most complicated law. "You will end up with cities without sewage, drainageā€¦..No country in the world takes five to six years to do environment and social assessment etc."

Similarly for employment generation and raising the job intensity in manufacturing, sectors like leather, gems and jewellery, textiles need to be promoted in terms of easing of the labour laws, Kant said according to a press release issued by Assocham.

The DIPP Secretary said the "states must become the key champions. Every state must try to grow at the rate Singapore grew for many years." He said after finalising 25 focus areas for the Make In India programme, the Centre had given 98 specific action plans to the states so that investors can find it easier to do business in their states. These were prepared in consultation with the State Chief Secretaries and the states have to report back the progress on these points by May 31.

Thereafter, in June/July, 2015, a professional agency would be employed to do a ranking of states in terms of providing Ease of Doing Business. "We have dismantled a lot in the last six-seven months. ...We want to make India one of the easiest places in the world do business..not for the sake of World Bank but for own country."

Kant said the Defence production has been identified as one of the areas as it is an "Easy flower to pluck" because along with the homeland security, the Defence provides a worldwide business opportunity of USD 250 billion in 7-8 years. Besides raising the FDI level to 49 per cent, a lot of easing has been done in defence production. As many 60 per cent of the items have been taken out of the regulation.

Referring to the 'Make in India', he said the programme is not about protectionism, it is about making the country a competitive partner in the global supply chain. By protectionism, "you will become a third class country."

Having integrated 14 government services into a common platform -eBiz, the overall objective is to expand this set of functions to all the government departments including the states.

Other than multi-brand retails, India is one of the most open economies of the world. Dismantling the rigid legacies of the past 60 years would be a "long sustained battle. We are determined to crack in," said the DIPP Secretar, Kant.

He elaborated how relocation of the global research and development of the multi-national companies is creating jobs. In Bangalore and Hyderabad alone, as many as 4,50,000 jobs have been created out of the shifting of the global Research and Developments (R&Ds).

Speaking at the event, Rana Kapoor, President, Assocham and MD & CEO, YES BANK, said, "Make in India and Invest in India have been the cornerstones of the Finance Minister's transformative Union Budget 2015-16. Going forward, it is imperative to create an expeditious and timely approval process, including environment clearances to expedite on-ground execution of around 345 projects which are currently stalled, to revive the investment cycle and result in job creation."

Kapoor added, "It is also important to integrate India's Foreign Trade Policy with 'Make in India' to promote sectors with high domestic value addition component such as textiles and electrical goods. The Government must also help facilitate export growth in labour intensive sectors and creation of Indian brands; while promoting investments in IT and Electronic hardware manufacturing with special financial packages and dedicated industrial clusters."

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