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Government removing dead wood to push up investment: Nirmala Sitharaman

Economic Times:  September, 2015

New Delhi: The government is carrying out "unglamorous work of removing dead wood" to streamline procedures and policies to promote domestic and foreign investments and put the country on a high growth trajectory, commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said.

The government is removing obstructions and addressing issues to make the country an investor-friendly destination, she said. "We are doing all the unglamorous work at the moment," the minister said, adding that "we are addressing all the issues which have made this country not an investors' destination". "Manufacturing needs to be given the necessary push as the new entrants in the job market cannot be absorbed by agriculture or services sector," Sitharaman said, speaking at India Economic Convention organised by India Foundation in association with the International Chamber of Commerce and Ficci. On the 'Make in India' campaign, she said the Prime Minister's Office is directly monitoring it.

She said that in the next 10 years, India will become a major manufacturing hub. "We will be talking about manufacturing hub with democracy and rule of law in place," she added. The government is working on several fronts such as skill development, improving road,rail and port infrastructure, developing industrial and freight corridors and focusing on power generation and distribution, the minister said.

She also said that both generation and transmission of energy was being worked upon to provide uninterrupted electricity to distant parts of the country, which still did not have access to it.

She said domestic companies had started investing in other countries due to issues related to energy, capital and taxation. She added that along with attracting foreign direct investment, the government is focusing on pushing up domestic investments.

"While my desire is to attract FDI, I also want domestic investments," Sitharaman stressed.

The government has announced several steps to improve ease of doing business in the country, which include having a timeline for clearance of applications, de-licensing the manufacturing of many defence products and introduction of e-biz project for singlewindow clearance.

On promoting private investments in the country Sitharaman said the government had introduced self-certification, self-attestation and online platforms to reduce the human interface and allow businesses to work in a conducive environment.