Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched his 'Make in India' programme on Thursday, ahead of his maiden visit to the US, rolling out the red carpet to investors through a string of measures including easier norms and rules aimed at transforming India into a manufacturing hub.
The Make in India programme, first mooted by the PM in his Independence Day speech last month, will lay emphasis on 25 sectors with focus on job creation and skill enhancement.
Catch all the live updates of the high-voltage launch here and know about the scheme.
What is the Make in India initiative?
It is PM Modi's signature initiative to urge companies - local and foreign - to invest in India.
What does the initiative contain?
It contains a raft of proposals designed to get foreign companies to set up shop and make the country a manufacturing powerhouse.
How was the initiative launched?
The 'Make in India' programme was first mooted by the PM in his Independence Day speech last month. On Thursday he will launch it during an event at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi that will be beamed live not just across the country but to gatherings of industrialists across the world.
What are the initiative's focus sectors?
The programme lays emphasis on 25 sectors with focus on job creation and skill enhancement. These include: automobiles, chemicals, IT, pharmaceuticals, textiles, ports, aviation, leather, tourism and hospitality, wellness, railways, auto components, design manufacturing, renewable energy, mining, bio-technology, pharmaceuticals and electronics among others.
What about easing of foreign investment rules?
As part of the plan, foreign investment caps in construction will be eased to enable greater participation in the NDA government's 100 smart cities project and affordable housing. FDI caps in railways and defence production have already been eased to 100% and 49%, respectively.
Why is there a need to focus on manufacturing sector?
The government's push for manufacturing comes at a time when many big companies are seeking an alternative to China as costs and risks there rise. The objective is also to ensure solid growth and employment creation. During 2005-12 India added only 15 million jobs, a quarter of the figure added in the previous six years.
How does the government plan to ease doing of business in India?
# Global investors have been unsparing in their criticism about complex rules and bureaucratic red tape that delay investment decisions.
# India ranks a lowly 134 out of 189 countries in the World Bank’s ease of doing business index in 2014. It slipped three places from its 2013 rank.
# The government has set up an investor facilitation cell Invest India, which will act as the first reference point for guiding foreign investors on all aspects of regulatory and policy issues and to assist them in obtaining regulatory clearances.
# All central government services are being integrated with an e-Biz single window online portal.
# States have been advised to introduce self-certification.
# The ministry of home affairs have been asked to give all security clearances to investment proposals within 3 months.
# A dedicated cell has been created to answer queries from business entities through a newly created web portal (http://www.makeinindia.com). The portal will go live on September 25.
# While an exhaustive set of FAQs on this portal will help investors find instant answers to their general queries, the back-end support team of the cell would answer specific queries within 72 hours.
# A pro-active approach will be deployed to track visitors for their geographical location, interest and real time user behaviour.
# Subsequent visits will be customised for the visitor based on the information collected.
# Visitors registered on the website or raising queries will be followed up with relevant information and newsletter.
# The investor facilitation cell will provide assistance to foreign investors from the time of their arrival in the country to the time of their departure.
# The initiative will also target top companies across sectors in identified countries.
# A vast number of defence items have been de-licensed.
# The validity of industrial license has been extended to three years.
# With a view to providing flexibility in working hours and increased intake of apprentices for on the job training, the government has decided to amend a number of labour laws.
# The government plans to introduce a single labour law for small industries by December.
# An advisory has been sent to all departments/state governments to simplify and rationalise regulatory environment which includes online filing of all returns in a unified form.
# There would be no inspection without the approval of the head of the department, etc.