BUSINESS

Centre assures industry of speeding up reforms

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and DIPP Secretary R. P. Singh (second left) interacting with industrialists led by CII President B. Muthuraman (left) at a meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday. — PHOTO: SHANKER CHAKRAVARTY

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and DIPP Secretary R. P. Singh (second left) interacting with industrialists led by CII President B. Muthuraman (left) at a meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday. — PHOTO: SHANKER CHAKRAVARTY  

Anand Sharma led Joint Task Force to interact with industry regularly

Concerned over the continued decline in foreign direct investment (FDI) and slowing down of factory output, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma on Wednesday assured industry of fast tracking reforms, including those in the FDI sector, and setting up of a joint task force to tackle major issues confronting industry and the government.

The joint task force, comprising government and industry representatives, will be chaired by Mr. Sharma and will be structured to have a regular dialogue between industry and the government. At the second-tier, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion Secretary Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion and an industry representative will co-chair the task force. It will also have a group of experts, analysts and economists.

These decisions came after an interaction between the Minister and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) delegation led by its President B. Muthuraman.

The Minister is now engaged in consultation with industry on various related issues including FDI inflows, FDI policy and decline in manufacturing output. “Dialogue with industry has been taking place but we will put it in a structured format and also to have a similar dialogue in regional headquarters. Some have already taken place in Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore. We will do it for the eastern and western regions in Kolkata and Mumbai shortly,'' Mr. Sharma said after the meeting. On Thursday, Mr. Sharma is scheduled to meet a FICCI delegation.

Mr. Muthuraman said several suggestions had been given to the government and the Commerce Minister had promised to take action on many of them. “Industry is confident that actions will be taken, reforms will be speeded up and I do see positive things,'' he remarked.

The pending reforms agenda includes introduction of the Goods and Services Tax, increasing FDI in the insurance sector from the present 26 per cent and opening multi-brand retail to overseas investment. Industry also raised issues such as demand compression because of high interest rates which are also having an adverse impact on capacity additions. The Reserve Bank of India has raised the benchmark interest rates by 250 basis points since March, 2010, to tame inflation. On the new manufacturing policy, Mr. Sharma said the committee of secretaries, chaired by Principal Secretary to Prime Minister T. K. A. Nair was fine-tuning the issues.



  • Commerce Minister to meet FICCI delegation today
  • New manufacturing policy issues are being finetuned

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