Visa restrictions need not be detrimental to India, said Cabinet Secretary, Mr Pradeep K Sinha. He was speaking at an interactive session with Secretaries at the Annual Session of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) at New Delhi.
A constructive engagement where both the Central and the State government work in tandem and engage with industry to take the reform agenda forward is critical to reduce Cost of Doing Business and take the economy to the higher growth trajectory. Mr Sinha dispelled apprehensions about the globalisation process turning restrictive due to inward looking policies of the advanced countries. While visa restrictions and curbs on people movement is a worry, this cannot be construed as a reversal of globalisation as the trade of goods is not impacted. He felt that as far as visa restrictions are concerned, our domestic economy has the absorptive capacity to tackle the situation.
Mr Sinha mentioned the reforms process being undertaken to develop a conducive ecosystem for attracting business. These include creating a simplified business climate especially in terms of starting, operating and exiting a business, ease of doing business reforms, operation of Single Window through portals such as SWIFT, direct delivery through ports, simplification of construction permits and electricity connection, among others. The implementation of the landmark GST reform and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code would help business operations. A focus on infrastructure development is another area of priority for the government. The keen participation of States Government in taking the reforms agenda forward is crucial for success, maintained Mr Sinha.
Mr Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, said that government is considering a proposal to give preference to domestic manufacturing in public procurement. The Make in India Campaign has propelled significant changes in policies to strengthen the manufacturing sector. Some such policies include simplification of procedures and processes through EODB, liberalizing FDI, dismantling FIPB, reform in public procurement , Skill India, Start-Up India etc. An investment facilitation agency is working on investments of over US$ 70 billion during the year. It is proposed to synergise investment promotion events at the state level for better results.Mr Abhishek observed that the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) reform in the third phase is auctioning over 400 parameters and would involve feedback from the public. Efforts are underway to increase public investment in R&D.
Ms Aruna Sundararajan, Secretary (Electronics & IT) Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, mentioned that India is the new engine of growth for the world. The government has prioritized a number of reforms to attract investments and targeted key sections of the society. Reforms include Aadhar, DBT, digital payments platform, urban reforms, among others. For the first time, Indian electronics manufacturers would be able to compete with imports and global electronics companies have evinced interest to invest in India.
Ms Shobana Kamineni, President Designate, CII spoke about a few key pillars which industry requires to perform to its best ability. These include secure law and order; stable policy environment; transparency and efficiency in governance; policy implementation, simplicity of administrative procedures, among others.