A delegation of the industry chamber FICCI, led by Mr. Harsh Pati Singhania – Past President, FICCI and Vice Chairman, J K Paper Ltd., met Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Hon’ble Minister of Commerce and Industry, highlighting the major concerns impacting the economy including manufacturing sector and the regulatory environment, among others.
While welcoming the recently approved twelve National Investment & Manufacturing Zones (NIMZs), FICCI emphasized the need for upgradation of existing industrial clusters into these zones. FICCI also highlighted significance of developing national standards, benchmarked against the world standards, in each of the 25 sectors identified under the Make in India campaign by involving different government departments in the effort.
Among other recommendations, FICCI suggested leveraging Government Procurement; supporting country’s project exports; improving the railway network and logistics within the country; and boosting defence production via shortening the decision-making process as other important instruments to promote domestic manufacturing. FICCI also reiterated the need to review the existing Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) from the point of view of domestic competitiveness of the manufacturing sector.
Complementing the Government’s efforts to promote Start-ups, the key suggestions by FICCI included a standard definition for Start-ups, providing recurring assistance in the initial 3 years of operation directed towards both capital and operating expenditure along with providing tax incentives to the Angel investors and Venture Capitalists for stimulating investments.
Given the significance of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in a country like India which has huge capital requirement for meeting its growth aspirations, FICCI pressed that it is important to provide complete clarity on any FDI announcement within a short time frame in order to retain interests of foreign investors. Specific example of FDI in insurance sector was highlighted wherein the clarification on nuance of FDI was provided several months after the passage of the bill.
Other members of the delegation included Mr Sidharth Birla, Past President, FICCI & Chairman, Xpro India Ltd; Mr Rashesh Shah, Vice President, FICCI & Chairman, Edelweiss Financial Services Ltd; Mr Anand Sudarshan, Chair, FICCI Start-Up Committee; and Mr Shyam Bang, Co-Chair, FICCI Manufacturing Committee and Executive Director, Jubilant Life Sciences Ltd.