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Modi launches ambitious ''Make in India'' campaign
New Delhi, Sep 25: In a bid to make the country a manufacturing hub, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday promised easy and effective governance to enable ease of doing business as he launched the 'Make in India' campaign at an event where government hinted at amending labour laws.
Following up on his Independence Day address call, he kicked off the ambitious project at a star-studded event where leading industrialists and business leaders from India and abroad pledged to support to the campaign.
At the event to showcase India's potential as a location for factories to revive the flagging economy where Mukesh Ambani, Cyrus Mistry, Azim Premji, Kumar Mangalam Birla, Maruti Suzuki's Kenichi Ayukawa and Lockheed Martin's Phil Shaw were present, the Prime Minister said the gloom of the past 2-3 years when industry wanted to shift abroad has lifted.
He said the government will focus on building physical infrastructure as well as creating a digital network to make India a global hub for manufacturing of goods ranging from cars to softwares, satellites to submarines, pharmaceuticals to ports and paper to power.
Prime Minister further said that "FDI" should be understood as "First Develop India" along with "Foreign Direct Investment" and urged investors not to look at the country merely as a market, but instead see it as an opportunity.
Modi said it is important for the purchasing power of the common man to increase, as this would further boost demand, and spur development, in addition to benefiting investors.
The faster the people are pulled out of poverty and brought into the middle class, the more opportunity will there be for global business, he said.
The Prime Minister said he had felt a mood of gloom among India's business community in the last few years, due to lack of clarity on policy issues.
Modi added, however, that on the basis of the experience of the last few months, he could say that the gloom has lifted.
Trust is essential for investors to feel secure and it "too can be a transformative force",
he said.
Modi also referred to the Digital India mission, saying that it would ensure that government processes remain in tune with corporate processes.
While Modi himself did not announce any big-ticket measures, Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman said "With a view to providing flexibility in working hours, our Government is amending a number of labour laws," she said.
"We are fully committed to delicensing, deregulation and radical changes as we go along. We have an open mind," she said.
She noted that India has long been identified with red tapism, inspector raj and cumbersome rules and regulations that hinders smooth transaction of business.
Ambassador of Sweden to India Harald Sandberg said: "Sweden is very happy to be a part of the fantastic Make in India initiative by Prime Minister Modi. It sends a strong signal to the world and gives an impetus to trade and investments between our two countries. Swedish companies, present in India for more than 100 years, have a long term commitment to this country.
Commenting on the Make in India campaign, Vice Chairman and MD of JK Paper Harsh Pati Singhania said the endeavour is a 'lion step' that has the potential to change India?s economic future.
"It is heartening to see the Prime Minister talk of trust and outline both the impediments and opportunities of doing business in India. Success will however come from effective implementation in dealing with various factors required for Indian manufacturing to become globally competitive".
Robinder Sachdev, US India Political Action Committee's (USINPAC) India Affairs chief said: "This initiative will not only help making India a hub of manufacturing but will also make India's economic growth more inclusive. As India takes giant strides towards digitisation and transforms into a clean, financially inclusive and skilled nation, the Indian diaspora is excited at the potential ahead."
Partner at Grant Thornton India LLP Harish H V said: "India desperately needs to grow its shrunken manufacturing sector to create jobs for its huge population particularly those of the youth to prevent the demographic dividend from becoming a social disaster. Hence the Make in India campaign is critical. This needs to be more than a slogan but must become the key mantra for the central and state governments."
"We want to change and chart up new course, new path wherein business entities are extended the proverbial red tap.Today's event is being held after taking after taking serious of measures on ease of doing business," she said.
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