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India is targeting an ambitious 40-notch jump in the World Bank’s Doing Business survey this year. Last year, its rank rose by just one place to 130 in the survey that measures the ease of doing business in various countries.


According to an output-outcome framework document prepared by the government, India wants to reach the 90th rank in 2017-18 and 30th by 2020.


“Better rank in ease of doing business and greater awareness about opportunities in India in manufacturing sector would lead to growth in the manufacturing sector,” the document said.


Department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) secretary Ramesh Abhishek said the targets are feasible.


“We are hoping to do extremely well in five categories: starting a business, construction permits, paying taxes, trading across borders, and resolving insolvency. We are already in the top 50 in three parameters out of 10. We are facing challenges in two criteria: enforcing contracts and registering property because of the complexity involved,” he said.


India was ranked within the top 50 countries in parameters such as protecting minority investors (13th), getting electricity (26th) and getting credit (44th), among the 190 countries surveyed. India’s worst rank was in dealing with construction permits, where it was placed 185th. It ranked 136th in resolving insolvency, 138th in registering property, 143rd in trading across borders and 172nd in both paying taxes and enforcing contracts.


Arindam Guha, partner at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, said it will be an uphill task to achieve the targets since it involves many stakeholders other than the central government.


“Government has to proactively pursue with the state governments and local bodies as well as the Supreme Court and high courts for necessary reforms. Between Delhi and Mumbai, the former has been an underperformer though the latter has picked up in recent times, especially in dealing with construction permits. This may prove to be a drag on India’s overall ranking,” he added.


This year’s budget allocated Rs272.48 crore under the scheme of investment promotion that will be spent on launching a 360 degree awareness campaign for better ease of doing business ranking and to attract investment in 25 sectors selected under Make in India.


DIPP has also involved the National Productivity Council and the United Nations Development Programme to conduct user feedback to evaluate the effectiveness of its reform measures.


To break into the top 50 in the World Bank ranking, India needs to set up fast-track commercial courts, dispose of cases quickly with minimum adjournments and establish e-courts for electronic filing of complaints, summons and payments, a government official said on condition of anonymity.


ALSO READ | Ease of doing business: DIPP calls for fast-track commercial courts


Aiming to make it easier to do business in India, finance minister Arun Jaitley in his 2017-18 budget presented on 1 February promised to simplify labour laws and abolish the foreign investment and promotion board (FIPB).


Jaitley announced legislative reforms to simplify, rationalize and amalgamate existing labour laws into four codes—wages, social security and welfare, industrial relations, and safety and working conditions.


The finance minister said a road map for scrapping the FIPB that scrutinizes foreign investment proposals will be announced soon as part of the government’s financial sector reforms.


The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the centre plotted an eight-point strategy to make it easier to do business in India. Departments will now hold stakeholder consultations for feedback on reforms undertaken, and also engage with respondents to ensure the reforms are implemented at the ground level. Each department will review progress every week in carrying out the necessary reforms.



Dubai, Mar 21 (PTI) India and the UAE have agreed to strengthen their bilateral trade and investment ties as top industry leaders from both countries met at a conference held here


Speaking at the second India-UAE conference on globalisation yesterday, UAEs Cabinet Member and Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan expressed optimism about the growth of trade and investment between India and the UAE and favoured greater international cooperation and exchange to help the global economy


Nahyan also praised All India Management Association (AIMA), organisers of the one-day conference, for creating a platform to promote mutual understanding and cooperation between policy and business leaders of the two countries, a statement sai


Indias ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Singh Suri also addressed the conference and highlighted the growing trade and investment ties between the two countries


Suri said the frequent interactions between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan were far-reaching developments in the relationship between the two countries


Organisers of the event said the conference included focused sessions on some key areas of mutual interest and cooperation between India and the UAE


They said that the UAE was already the largest trading partner of India in West Asia and the two countries have now decided to form a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership


More than 20 agreements have been signed between the two countries in the past two years for collaboration in diverse areas including infrastructure, renewable energy, defence production, joint military exercises, maritime security, counter-terrorism, space technologies, cyber security, agriculture and human traffic prevention, they said


UAEs commitment to invest USD 75 billion in Indian infrastructure is of particular significance to the growing relationship, they added


India sources a substantial part of its oil requirement from the the UAE and the gulf country is helping it build its oil reserve. The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company has agreed to store oil at Indias reserve storage.


Source:India Today

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that India should become an international diamond trading hub in addition to its present status as cutting and polishing hub.Addressing the audience at a charity dinner at the International Diamond Conference in Mumbai through video conferencing, Modi said India has made rapid strides since the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council of India was set up 50 years back


He said, "India is now the world's largest manufacturer of cut and polished diamonds, and gems and jewellery sector is one of the leading sectors in India in terms of value of exports as well as employment generation."Modi said India has emerged as the leader in diamond manufacturing and export in the last four decades and exports of gems and jewellery from India account for 15 per cent of India's total merchandise exports


"This is one of India's success stories. From just 28 million dollars in 1966-67, exports reached one billion dollars in 1982-83 and two billion dollars in 1987-88. It crossed 10 billion dollars in 2003-04, 20 billion dollars in 2007-08 and is now nearly 40 billion dollar


Modi said Indian importers had to go abroad to view and purchase rough diamonds till recently, which reduced the efficiency of the supply chain




The Prime Minister said amendments have been made to the laws to enable rough diamonds to enter and exit, duty free for the purpose of viewing, and the Special Notified Zone at the Bharat Diamond Bourse, which became operational in November, 2015, has already shown good results


Modi said only 80 to 90 big merchants used to get access to global rough diamonds by travelling to Belgium, Africa and Israel, and now about 3,000 small and medium merchants have this privilege through the new Special Notified Zone


"Many of the most reputed international names in the diamond industry have conducted over 244 days of viewings. My intention is to make India, which is already the cutting and polishing hub, into an international diamond trading hub," he said


"Our goal is to transform India in one generation. Since taking office, this government has placed emphasis on many transformative initiatives. 'Make in India' is one of them. Our aim is to make India a preferred destination for manufacturing," Modi added


He said the gems and jewellery sector had accounted for 475 billion dollars of exports despite India having little diamond or gold production




Referring to Skill India initiative of the government, Modi said it aims to ensure that new entrants to the work force have the necessary skills to contribute to the economy of the 21st century


"The gems and jewellery sector employs 4.6 million people. Out of this, one million people are in the diamond industry alone. Thus, the gems and jewellery sector is a prime example of the potential of 'Make In India' and 'Skill India'," he said


Referring to the presence of ministers from several African countries, Modi said India would support them in developing their gems and jewellery sector


Modi said India's future is much bigger than cutting and polishing alone and there is a lot of unexplored potential


He suggested documenting the legacy of India, which is of relevance to the jems and jewellery trade, and using it for designs


He said diamonds are being used in spectacles, watches and pens. "Can't our jewellers, with their skills, strengths and heritage, create and change global tastes and fashions?


The Prime Minister said that India has acquired a global brand for high skills and excellence in software but is yet to do that in jewellery


Modi said: "The Council should consider taking a census of the lowest-paid and least prosperous persons in your industry. Can the industry ensure that every one of them is enrolled in the government's low cost social security schemes?


Noting that India will celebrate the 75th anniversary of its Independence in 2022, Modi asked the gems and jewellery industry to set goals for itself


He said the government can consider changes in regulations based on specific and practical suggestions.


Source:India Today

Russia will not only welcome Indian talent but will also help to have comfortable stay in their country, which will be a win-win for both the countries, Russian Minister of Trade and Industry Denis Manturov told ET amid proposed visa changes in the USA that might impact movement of professionals there in the future. 


"We welcome Indian brains to Russia. We are open to high-skilled Indian workforce in Russia and help them settle down in our country. Indians and Russians have the best mathematicians in the world -- both have high-skilled workforce. The government of Russia will work towards this idea of welcoming Indian brains," Manturov told ET in an exclusive interview in Delhi last Friday. 


The Russian minister, on his second visit to India in less than six months, is here as part of the celebrations on the occasion of 70 years of bilateral economic ties, and he will also create the ground for PM Narendra Modi's visit to St Petersburg for the International Economic Forum between June 1 and 3. Modi is the guest of honour at the Forum or SPIEF (St Petersburg International Economic Forum) with India as the guest country for the Forum, often described as the Davos of Eurasia. 


Pointing out that SPIEF would be a perfect match making opportunity for the Indian corporate sector, Manturov said the PM's presence will add heft to the privileged and special Indo-Russian strategic partnership. 


"We are currently in the process of giving final shape and fine tuning the agenda for SPIEF. The Forum held at an important year of bilateral ties will give a good opportunity for the businesses and corporate sectors." Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin will jointly address SPIEF that will include over 5000 business honchos, including some even from the West. 


The minister listed heavy engineering, metallurgy, agriculture and farming as areas where India and Russia could work together to produce results besides the traditional areas. "I was in Chennai to attend an engineering meet where Russia was a partner country. The two sides are also looking to cooperate at the small and medium scale industries. We are exploring joint ventures in the SME sector. Besides the two sides can cooperate in certain areas of microbiology and pharmaceutical products.


When asked about Russian participation across industrial sectors under the Make in India initiative of the Modi government, Manturov said, "Such projects have to be economically viable. We expect that Russian industrial firms will have the advantage. I was on a business mission to Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Goa last October. The challenge is to increase bilateral trade to $30 bn from the current $7 bn by 2025." 


Source:The Economic Times




The government is expected to soon announce relaxations in the foreign direct investment (FDI) policy in certain sectors, including single brand retail. 


The further liberalisation in the FDI policy is aimed at providing better business environment by removing impediments, an official said. 


The easing of the policy will be on the lines of the announcements made by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Budget for 2017-18. 


The government last year relaxed FDI norms in over a dozen sectors, including defence, civil aviation, construction and development, private security agencies, real estate and news broadcasting. 


Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal recently stated that the government will consider the demands made by foreign retailers for allowing non-food items such as homecare products under the policy. 


The government is also considering a proposal to increase FDI limit in print media to 49 per cent from 26 per cent. 


Besides, a proposal to allow 100 per cent FDI through the automatic route in single brand retail is also under consideration with a view to attracting more global players in the sector. 


Foreign investments are considered crucial for India, which needs around $1 trillion to overhaul its infrastructure such as ports, airports and highways to boost growth. 


Foreign investments will help improve the country's balance of payments situation and strengthen the value of the rupee against global currencies, especially the US dollar. 


FDI inflows into India firmed up by 22 per cent to $35.85 billion during April-December 2016. 


Source: The Economic Times