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India is one of most liberal countries in terms of FDI: Amitabh Kant
Source: IRIS | 19 Jan, 2015, 10.10AM
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Amitabh Kant, secretary, department of industrial policy and promotion, ministry of commerce and industry, government of India, India is one of the most liberal countries in terms of its FDI regime as over 90% of the proposals fall under the automatic route. Kant was addressing a session on ''Make in India: Offering a New Partnership Opportunity to Industry'' at The Partnership Summit 2015 organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and the Government of Rajasthan in Jaipur during Jan. 15-17, 2015.  

According to Kant, job creation is a major challenge in India given its demographics. He pointed out that growth in India was largely driven by the services sector and India and not through manufacturing. He felt that India now needed to adopt a policy of manufacturing led growth in order to create the quantum of jobs required for India's growth.  

He pointed out that one of the key features of the Make in India campaign was to make India an easier place to do business.  It is in this context that several laws, rules and regulations had been simplified. The use of technology was being promoted to make compliance easier. The new e-biz platform, he pointed out, was created for just that purpose.  

Kant highlighted that as a part of this initiative the FDI regime had been liberalized and FDI restrictions on several sectors such as railways, defense and construction had been relaxed.

According to Kant, another major feature of the Make in India campaign is the focus on infrastructure development. In this context, Kant spoke about the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor and pointed out that by 2017, it is expected that goods from Delhi would be able to reach Mumbai and loaded onto ships in a matter of 14 hours instead of 14 days at present. Similarly, several other corridors being developed in different parts of India should help link industrial centers inland to ports.  

In his address, Martin Hamilton-Smith, Minister for Investment and Trade, Government of South Australia stated that his state was ready to support the Make in India campaign. He stated that South Australia was a major center for high value added manufacturing such as robotics and industrial automation which could help make manufacturing processes more efficient.  

William Danvers, deputy secretary general, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Li Yong, Director General, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) both highlighted the need for India to address issues such as infrastructure and regulatory bottlenecks so as to attract greater investment into the manufacturing sector. These, they stated, included reforms in areas such as labour regulations, land acquisition, tax policies among others.  

In her address, Patricia Hewitt, Chair, UK-India Business Council stated that UK companies are already manufacturing in India- some for several years now. She pointed out that UK was the largest G-20 investor in India if one were to consider portfolio investment and FDI together. India, in turn, was one of the largest investors in the UK and Tata Steel had emerged as the country's largest employer. Hewitt stated that the UK could extend support to India in areas such as smart cities, re-juvenation of older cities, embedded services in manufacturing among others.

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