India forms empowered group to attract investments, milk opportunities in post-Covid world
The union cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday cleared the setting up of an empowered group of secretaries headed by cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba to make India a more investor-friendly destination.
In the midst of Covid-19 pandemic, India is presented with an opportunity to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) especially from large companies diversifying their investments into new geographies to mitigate risks and to ramp up production across product lines with an eye on serving big markets in the US, EU, China and elsewhere. The empowered group is tasked to take advantage of these opportunities to make India one of the largest players in the global value chain, the government said.
“We know the world situation. Industries are looking to diversify in different world locations. So, to ensure investments are enhanced in India, an empowered group of secretaries has been formed. And simultaneously Project Development Cells (PDCs) will be set up in every ministry,” information and broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar said at a press briefing after the meeting.
It will also result in handholding of new industries and provide a fillip to domestic industry, he added.
This new mechanism will reinforce India’s vision of becoming a US$ 5 trillion economy by 2024-25, said an official statement, which noted that strategic implementation of an integrated approach will eventually bring about synergies between ministries/departments and among the Central and State governments in investment and related incentive policies.
Apart from Gauba, CEO Niti Aayog Amitabh Kant would be a member as would be the secretaries of the departments of commerce, revenue and economic affairs. Secretary of the department for promotion of industry and internal trade (DPIIT) would be the member convenor, while the secretary of any concerned department would be co-opted, an official statement said.
Apart from facilitating the top investors, the empowered group will evaluate investments using parameters including project creation and actual investments. Further, government departments would be given targets for completion of various stages of new projects by the empowered group.
The cabinet also approved the renaming of the Kolkata Port as Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port. Mookerjee, an eminent jurist, academician, thinker and leader of his time, is also a prominent BJP icon.
Another major decision taken by the cabinet on Wednesday was to re-establish Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine & Homoeopathy (PCIM&H) as a subordinate office under the ministry of AYUSH by merging into it Pharmacopoeia Laboratory for Indian Medicine (PLIM) and Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia Laboratory (HPL)-- the two central laboratories at Ghaziabad established in 1975.
Presently, Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine & Homoeopathy (PCIM&H) is an autonomous body under the aegis of ministry of AYUSH. The merger is aimed at optimizing the use of infrastructural facilities, technical manpower and financial resources of the three organizations.