Panel set up to facilitate investment
In the midst of the ongoing coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, India senses an opportunity to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows, especially from large companies that seek to diversify their investments into new geographies and mitigate the risks they confront.Updated: Jun 03, 2020 23:29 IST
The Union cabinet, at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday approved the setting up of an empowered group of secretaries headed by cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba that would work to make India a more investor-friendly destination.
In the midst of the ongoing coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, India senses an opportunity to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows, especially from large companies that seek to diversify their investments into new geographies and mitigate the risks they confront.
Ramping up manufacturing capacity across product lines will also help to serve large markets in the US, European Union China and elsewhere. The idea is to take advantage of the emerging opportunities from the global economic situation to position India among the largest entities 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 will be set up in every ministry,” Information and broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar said at a press briefing after the cabinet meeting.
The step will help make India a more investor-friendly destination and also enable the government handhold new industries, the minister said. The step will also give a fillip to domestic industry, he added.
The empowered committee of secretaries will reinforce India’s ambition of becoming a $5 trillion economy by 2024-25, said an official statement.
The statement said the he Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) proposes strategic implementation of an integrated approach that will eventually bring about synergies between ministries/departments and among the central and state Governments in investment and related incentive policies.
Apart from Gauba, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant would be a member of the empowered group of secretaries as would be the secretaries of the departments of commerce, revenue and economic affairs. The secretary of DPIIT would be the member-convenor, and the secretary of any related department would be co-opted onto the panel, the official statement said.
Apart from facilitating top investors, the empowered group will evaluate investments put forward by the departments on the basis of project creation and actual investments that flow in. Further, these departments would be set targets for completion of various stages of projects by the empowered group.
Project development cells would work to create projects with all approvals, land available for allocation and with complete detailed project reports for investment.
“The decision is in line with the government’s strategy of Make in India and Make for the Wold, which was articulated by the Prime Minister yesterday. This is the characteristic of major economies like the United States and China. Focused attention and inter-departmental coordination is required to implement wide-ranging reforms announced recently; hence this is a move in the right direction,” said Nilaya Varma, co-founder and CEO of consulting firm Primus Partners.
It is also necessary to involve states’ officials in the group for effective implementation of the policies and the government should create a forum to resolve business disputes speedily, he said.
The cabinet also approved the renaming of Kolkata Port as Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port. The Board of Trustees of Kolkata Port Trust, in its meeting held on 25 February, 2020, also passed a resolution to re-name Kolkata Port. Mookerjee, a jurist, academician, thinker and leader, is also a prominent icon of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi made this announcement earlier, Javadekar said at the briefing.
Another major decision taken by the cabinet on Wednesday was to re-establish the 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 established in Ghaziabad in 1975.
Presently, PCIM&H is an autonomous body under the ministry of AYUSH established in 2010. The merger is aimed at optimizing the use of infrastructural facilities, technical staff and financial resources of the three organizations