Land Ac­qui­si­tion Big­gest Hur­dle to Busi­ness: Babus

Se­nior bu­reau­crats meet Cab­i­net secy Ajit Seth

The Economic Times - - Economy - OUR BUREAU

Se­nior bu­reau­crats have flagged land ac­qui­si­tion as a ma­jor con­straint to project im­ple­men­ta­tion days be­fore the BJP-led govern­ment headed by Naren­dra Modi takes over. Sec­re­taries were called in a group of seven-eight dur­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion meet­ing taken by Cab­i­net sec­re­tary Ajit Seth on Tues­day and asked to list out key achieve­ments, fail­ures and the agenda of their min­istries and de­part­ments for the next five years. “Land ac­qui­si­tion is a ma­jor con­straint. Devel­op­men­tal projects have got ham­pered. The Act needs to be suit­ably re­vised or amended to boost man­u­fac­tur­ing,” a govern­ment of­fi­cial present at the meet­ing said on the con­di­tion of anonymity. All de­part­ments have been asked to give a sim­i­lar pre­sen­ta­tion to Modi af­ter his swear­ing-in as prime min­is­ter on May 26. At the meet­ing chaired by Seth, a few de­part­ments also high­lighted the lack of in­ter­min­is­te­rial co­or­di­na­tion that had led to a slow­down in de­ci­sion-mak­ing on pol­icy is­sues. “No min­istry can work in isolation. The in­ter­min­is­te­rial co­or­di­na­tion failed in the pre­vi­ous govern­ment’s regime. It was taken up dur­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion,” said an­other of­fi­cial. The bu­reau­crats high­lighted im­prove­ment in busi­ness sen­ti­ment and con­tain­ing in­fla­tion and twin deficits as key fo­cus ar­eas for the econ­omy. In­dia needs to boost farm pro­duc­tiv­ity and also al­low free move­ment of per­ish­ables across states to ease food in­fla­tion that has emerged as a key chal­lenge over the past few years, they said. In­dia faced con­sis­tently high in­fla­tion dur­ing the UPA-II regime, av­er­ag­ing 7.14%, against 6% in the pre­vi­ous five years. The El Nino scare has posed fresh upside risks to in­fla­tion in the cur­rent fis­cal, prompt­ing se­nior of­fi­cials to flag in­fla­tion man­age­ment as a pri­or­ity for the new govern­ment. Busi­ness sen­ti­ment needs a lift and govern­ment of­fi­cials have em­pha­sised on get­ting stalled projects off the ground. This will also help put growth back on track. The ex­ter­nal sec­tor re­mains vul­ner­a­ble as In­dia is ex­pected to see an over­flow of cap­i­tal. Cur­rent ac­count deficit was largely con­tained last year at about $36 bil­lion from $86 bil­lion in 201213 on ac­count of gold im­port re­stric­tions, but the curbs will have to be re­vis­ited soon, ac­cord­ing to sug­ges­tions. Sub­sidy re­forms and im­prov­ing ex­pen­di­ture as part of fis­cal con­sol­i­da­tion is an­other area that needs at­ten­tion. Get­ting the fisc back on track will aid the cen­tral bank in eas­ing lend­ing rates. The com­merce depart­ment raised the need to in­crease In­dia’s share in the world trade and push ex­ports. Ex­ports in 2013-14 stood at $312.35 bil­lion, fall­ing short of the tar­geted $325 bil­lion. Over­seas ship­ments stood at $300.4 bil­lion in 2012-13 and $307 bil­lion in 2011-12. “There is a need to re­struc­ture the ex­port pro­mo­tion schemes by mak­ing them less de­pen­dent on govern­ment sup­port to be WTO com­pli­ant,” said an­other of­fi­cial present at the meet­ing. In­dia is ranked 13 among ex­port­ing coun­tries but ac­counts for less than 2% in the world trade. For ex­am­ple, tex­tiles sec­tor re­port­edly crossed the 3.5% share in the global mar­ket and the coun­try will no longer be able to pro­vide ex­port sub­si­dies to the sec­tor. Com­merce depart­ment is work­ing on the for­eign trade pol­icy 201419 with a thrust on non-fis­cal in­cen­tives and perk­ing ser­vices ex­ports. “The need for sub­sidy re­forms and im­prov­ing farm pro­duc­tiv­ity were also pointed out dur­ing the meet­ing,” an of­fi­cial said. In­dus­try min­istry pointed out the need for sin­gle-win­dow clear­ances to boost man­u­fac­tur­ing and lib­er­al­is­ing FDI regime for de­fence, rail­ways, ecom­merce and con­struc­tion. “We also em­pha­sised on build­ing smart cities, to re­vive man­u­fac­tur­ing,” an of­fi­cial said.

Busi­ness sen­ti­ment needs a lift and govern­ment of­fi­cials have em­pha­sised on get­ting stalled projects off the ground

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.