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Home arrow News arrow Business News arrow Anand Sharma outlines vision for India to emerge as the world's workshop
Anand Sharma outlines vision for India to emerge as the world's workshop Print E-mail
Written by Thomas Philip   
Thursday, 08 April 2010
New Delhi: Minister for Commerce and Industry, Mr Anand Sharma outlined his vision for India to emerge as the world’s workshop. The Minister stressed that global investors have shown their confidence in India and the country has emerged as one of the most attractive investment destinations in the world. So much so that FDI flows into India remained robust even during the economic downturn.

He said India was looking for technology and investment to flow into India and was clear that he wanted to project India as a place where there would be "not only assured returns but the highest returns" compared to investments anywhere.

The Minister was emphatic that the next decade is a crucial one for India’s future as this nation of over a half a billion young people seeks to leverage its demographic dividend.  To emerge as the world’s leading manufacturing centre, focus will have to be on attracting new technologies of the future such as green manufacturing and developing the skills of Indian workers. Mr. Sharma was hopeful that the new Manufacturing Policy being developed in consultation with stakeholders would be a driving force in making India the manufacturing hub of the world.

Anand Sharma described the exercise that the ministry had undertaken in delivering this book on the date promised a year back, as a rationalisation and simplification effort.

The minister felt this would help the national manufacturing policy which was tailor made to attract investments and meant to make India a manufacturing hub in the world. He regretted that the share of manufacturing had only been able to maintain its share in the GDP and not grow over the last 2 decades.

Anand Sharma mentioned how India had maintained a 6.7% growth in the worst year of the crisis and expected this year to end with 7.5% and next year to easily have an 8.5% growth in GDP.

Earlier, Mr. R.P. Singh, Secretary, DIPP, mentioned that the Ministry was already working on several discussion papers to address various concerns of the industry with reference to industrial and FDI policy. These discussion papers would be made available to industry stakeholders for consultations and this process would lead a more robust reform process. He provided details of the contents of the manual where 178 press notes had been consolidated along with various RBI notifications. He called it a "book with everything on FDI."

Anand Sharma emphasised that this was needed so that small investors using the FDI path would not have to expend major efforts. In this regard he mentioned as a great leap, the modification where CCEA approval was no longer needed for FDI projects of over 600 crores but only where FDI was over 1200 crores, immaterial of total project costs which should be seen not as a doubling of the limit but an increase of many times in one stroke.

He talked of the dynamic nature of the policy, and referred to India’s slow mode of decision making but justified it as due to India being on an inclusive decision making path, its size and the long term benefits of democracy and extolled the advantages where a policy once made had the support of all players and this meant there was never the need for any roll back. He emphasised that there would not be any knee jerk reaction to developments in his ministry.

The minister was speaking at an interactive session on FDI policy organized by CII.

Highlighting the importance of transparency and facilitation, Mr. Sharma expressed confidence that the new comprehensive document on FDI policy released by the Ministry that consolidates all FDI related policy information will go a long way in creating investor confidence.

Speaking at the same forum CII Past President, Mr. Shekhar Datta referred to the importance of transparency of policy for prospective investors and the need for government and Indian industry to work together to make sure that the initiative by the Ministry to simplify FDI regulation by the means of the comprehensive FDI policy document was made known to prospective investors globally.

Vikram Mehta, Chairman Shell India said that time has come for India to look to the future as the country’s past performance was only of academic interest. India is now firmly entrenched in the minds of business leaders worldwide because of the recognition of India’s future potential he said, adding that the initiative by the ministry to develop this comprehensive document is a major step in increasing India’s positive perception among the global business community.

 
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