Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal today asked industry bodies to prepay MSMEs to safeguard their viability and to boost employment and growth. He was interacting with the leaders of major Industry bodies virtually from New Delhi on Wednesday.
The Minister was speaking at a meeting with heads of the top business and industry associations of the country today to seek their suggestions and inputs to ensure the continuation of fast rebound of economic activities and high growth rates being achieved.
He congratulated the Indian industry for bouncing back after taking a hit due to the pandemic and for the resilience displayed while grappling with the pandemic, especially in the field of exports.
The Minister said that the growth in services exports, in spite of travel and tourism restrictions was truly commendable and said that we must aim to reach $ 250 billion in services exports. He added that Indian professionals had demonstrated great success in working from home and therefore the nation had succeeded in meeting every single one of its international commitments, even during the pandemic, earning it the title of being a trusted partner to the world.
Highlighting the progress made in FTA negotiations, Goyal said that the Government was striving to conclude several Early Harvest Agreements so that their benefits could reach the industry soon. He said that an FTA with UAE was nearing conclusion, negotiations were at an advanced stage with Australia, and discussions with Israel were ongoing.
Referring to the relaunch of market access negotiations with Korea, Goyal said that a comprehensive fast-track dialogue had been initiated to address concerns arising out of the previous agreement.
The Minister said that there was an imminent need for up-gradation of testing facilities and labs to improve to quality and called upon Indian Industry to extend its support in this regard. He also asks the industry to lend guidance for transformational exports growth beyond $ 400 billion.
Goyal told industry leaders to be proactive in giving inputs to the government, especially in areas like FTA negotiations. The industry should become more demanding, he added.
He urged Industry to use Single Window for business processes and approvals to the maximum extent possible and asked them to give suggestions and inputs for further decriminalization of rules and reduction of compliance burdens wherever feasible.
The Minister also asked the industry to invest more and place greater emphasis upon Research and Development activities as a business and growth strategy.
Underscoring Government’s commitment towards infrastructure development and capital expenditure, Goyal said that the Centre would always support businesses activities. He also asked the industry to use initiatives like the PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan and India Industrial Land Bank to the best possible extent to expand and grow. The Minister observed that by and large economic, activities had not been impacted by the current Covid surge.
Industry representatives present in the VC included Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII; Subhrakant Panda, Senior Vice President & Sanjiv Mehta, president, FICCI; Vineet Agarwal, president & Deepak Sood, Secretary General, ASSOCHAM; Pradeep Multani, president & Saurabh Sanyal, Secretary General, PHDCCI; Pradeep Sureka, president & Dr Rajeev Singh, Director General, Indian Chamber of Commerce; Juzar Khorakiwala, president & Ajit Mangrulkar, Director General, Indian Merchant Chamber; Gopi Koteeswaran, of the Southern India Chamber of Commerce & Industry; Lalit Beriwala, Senior vice president, Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Vijay Kalantri, President, All India Association of Industries; Rasesh Doshi, vice president, Federation of Associations of Maharashtra; Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT); Rakesh Chhabra, vice president & Anil Bhardwaj, Secretary General, Federation of Indian Micro and Small & Medium Enterprises; Baldevbhai Prajapati, All India President, Laghu Udyog Bharati; Ashish Aggarwal, vice president & Head of Public Policy, NASSCOM; Ravi Raghavan, president, Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers’ Association; Vinod Aggarwal, vice president & Rajesh Menon, Director General, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM); Sunjay J. Kapur, President, Auto Component Manufacturer Association (ACMA); Vipul Ray, President, Indian Electrical and Electronics Manufacturers Association (IEEMA) and Dr Viranchi Shah, national president, Indian Drug Manufactures’ Association.