Dec 30, 2014

PM Narendra Modi Assures Industries of a ROAD Map to “Make in India”

Gems & Jewellery Amongst 23 Industries Which Participated in FICCI-CII Workshop to Discuss Sectoral Issues  

At the concluding session of a day-long workshop on “Make in India” held in New Delhi on December 29th, Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi said he wished to change the “ABCD” culture of Government – “Avoid. Bypass. Confuse. Delay” --  to the ROAD to success – “Responsibility. Ownership. Accountability. Discipline”.

The Prime Minister also said that Human Resource Development, Innovation and Research should become part of the Government`s DNA. He said these should be aligned to the nation`s overall goals in various sectors.

The PM called for making a globally recognised “Brand India” famous for “Zero Defect, Zero Effect” meaning: Manufacturing – free from defects, and with no adverse impact on the environment. He said he wanted maximum movement of Men, Money, Machinery, Materials and Minerals across the country.

Earlier at the inaugural  session, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said that an enabling environment had to be created in all respects; and that the effort should be to lower the cost of manufacturing and to improve quality. “Otherwise we will become a nation of traders, rather than manufacturers,” he said.  

Jaitley also conveyed that at the Banker’s Retreat  being convened by the PM over the forthcoming weekend, issues of liquidity and making capital available to industry would be taken up.

At the same session, Minister of State for Commerce & Industry (Independent Charge) Nirmala Sitharaman pointed out that the workshop would help the perceptions between the states and the Centre to be better aligned;  and it would also help in resolving inter-ministerial issues to facilitate ease of doing business. A strong manufacturing sector, she said, had the potential to increase growth, entrepreneurship and employment and thereby improve India’s ranking in competitiveness and doing business measure.

Post the inaugural session roughly about 20 odd industry sectors held discussions in breakaway groups, between the key organisations representing the sector along with the secretaries/joint secretaries of each sector making presentations on that particular industry and its position in the international scenario.  They also discussed roadblocks and ways of clearing them, and set targets for each sector.

“We have been conveying to the Government that the gems & jewellery sector is one of the  ideal representatives of the “Make In India” concept,” explained Sabyasachi Ray, Executive Director of  The Gem & Jewellery Export promotion Council. “And we are happy and grateful that we were also included in the Workshop.”

Ray said that targets were outlined in terms of one year (in the short term) and three years for the mid-term. “A target of reaching exports of US$ 68 billion by 2018 has been set for gems & jewellery,” he said.

Vice Chairman of GJEPC, Pankaj Parekh, who also attended the workshop, said: “The industry has a major wish list. Fortunately, the Minister of  Commerce & Industry was in agreement with almost all our demands. Yes, in some areas there was discussion and some give and take on actual numbers, but a consensus was reached; and broadly all our requests were met with a positive response.”

Among the demands put up by the industry – which are effectively targets for the government to fulfil – are the implementation of the Special Notified Zone programme; reduction of assumption of profitability for Benign Assessment Tax to 2.5%;  reduction  of import duty on gold to 2%; reduction of import duty on pearls to 2.5%, amongst others. It was also agreed that a Council for the domestic g & j sector would be set up.

“Most industries came there asking for reduction of taxes and duties,” Parekh added. “At a personal level I was a little apprehensive as to if, and how, the government could accept this. However, the Finance Minister himself assured the gathering that he would make every effort to meet the requirements.”

The Workshop which was a major thrust in implementing  the “Ease of Doing Business” model, promised  by the PM, was attended by  a high-powered gathering of industrialists, key industry associations, ministers of most major ministers, secretaries and joint secretaries of the sector;  the Finance Minister, the Minister of State for Commerce & Industry – and of course the Prime Minister himself.

The Workshop indeed provided “A new paradigm to the PPP model involving all stakeholders in decision-making process” as tweeted by the PM.

 “This is the first time that a meeting of this kind has been held,” concluded Ray. “A vision and direction has been given, and we will work together with the government to attain the goals set.”

Pic Caption:

PM Narendra Modi speaking at the Make in India Workshop flanked by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley (lft) and Minister of State for Commerce & Industry (Independent Charge) Nirmala Sitharaman (rt )