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Govt. focusing on removing policy impediments, red-tapism to boost manufacturing: Sitharaman

New Delhi, Sept. 17 : Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman has said that the government is working towards removing obstructions that have led to stagnation in the growth of manufacturing sector.

“Manufacturing needs to be given the necessary push as the new entrants in the job market cannot be absorbed by agriculture or services sector. Along with the state governments, the Centre was focusing on removing the policy impediments and red tapism to boost investments and realize the goals of ‘Make in India’,” she said while addressing the session on ‘What will “Make in India” look like’ at the India Economic Convention 2015.

Sitharaman said that India’s demographic dividend was one of its advantages and the government was aiming to impart skills to youth. It was expected that this initiative would reach its fruition n the next 5-10 years, and a skilled and employable workforce would be ready to join the market.

She added that the government was also partnering with other stakeholders to enhance the skills of the workforce.

Speaking on connectivity, Sitharaman said that the government was looking at public expenditure to invest in infrastructure development, without waiting for private sector to come in.

“The need was to connect the far off places and the upcoming industrial and freight corridors, inland waterways and green field airports, would facilitate this,” she added.

Talking on the issue of energy security, Sitharaman said that both generation and transmission of energy was being worked upon to provide unhindered power to distant parts of the country which still did not have access to electricity.

“Signs of revival were visible in generation of electricity and the energy grids were being also created to facilitate distribution of power,” she added.

On promoting private investments in the country, Sitharaman said that the government had introduced self-certification, self-attestation and online platforms to reduce the human interface and allow businesses to work in a conducive environment.

“India was looking at attracting FDI, but there was a need to enthuse domestic investors. A host of domestic investors had established their operations in other countries as they found India’s business climate not conducive. Hence, the government was focusing on these Indian investors and making the business environment friendly by removing tax impediments, bringing about ease of doing business and a stable policy regime,” she added.

The panelists at the discussion that followed Harsh Pati Singhania, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, J K Paper Limited and Director, J K Organisation; Juvencio Maetzu, EO, Ikea India; and Subhrakant Panda, Managing Director, Indian Metals and Ferro Alloys Ltd., were of the view that India needed long term policies for industry as large investment projects have long gestation periods.

They also emphasized the need to bring competitiveness in business.

It was also felt that there was a need to prioritize and incentivize value addition.

Agriculture was one sector that could benefit immensely as it had almost 100 percent opportunity for value addition and would also generate jobs.

The session was moderated by Dr. Arindam Bhattacharya, Managing Director, BCG. (ANI)