Prime Minister’s Council on Trade & Industry

indiaThe Prime Minister’s Council on Trade & Industry met today to discuss issues concerning the Indian economy.  The agenda focused on measures to correct the Current Account Deficit; the slowdown of industrial growth and measures to revive it; depreciation of the Rupee and its impact on trade and industry; skill development and development of industrial corridors.

                The meeting was attended by the Finance Minister, the Commerce & Industries Minister, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, Chairman of the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council, Chairman of PM’s Economic Advisory Council, senior officials of the government and from the industry, Shri Rahul Bajaj, Dr. AshokGanguly, Shri Mukesh D. Ambani, Shri Narayana Murthy, Shri Azim Premji, Ms. Swati Piramal, Shri Deepak Parekh, ShriJamshyd N. Godrej, Ms. Chanda Kochhar, Shri Venu Srinivasan, Shri Sunil Kant Munjal, Shri S. Gopalakrishnan, Dr. RanaKapoor, Shri Sunil B. Mittal, Smt. Naina Lal Kidwai.

                The Prime Minister welcomed the gathering and invited the captains of industry to give suggestions to improve the economy and remove the mood of pessimism that has unnecessarily spread in some quarters.  The Finance and Commerce Ministers then briefed the Council on the government’s thoughts on the agenda.

                There was a detailed and lengthy discussion on the issues.  While some expressed their concerns, some gave concrete suggestions on how to improve matters.

                The overall sentiment was on the need to bring back the mood, converting decisions to action and taking the country back to a growth path of 8% or more.

                The Prime Minister concluded by thanking the Council for its suggestions.  He said it was a rewarding discussion.  The Prime Minister wanted a report to be submitted within one month on what can be done in the next 2-3 months.

Some of the major issues discussed were:-

S.No CAD Reviving growth Industrial Corridors Skill Development
1. Raising duties on consumers and luxury goods Focus as much on growth as on inclusion Have sector specific zones and clusters Need good certification on a vast scale
2. Innovative ways of reducing gold imports through bonds, etc Extend accelerated depreciation to SMEs Have effcientsingle window clearances and good facilitation Focus on home service market
3. Reducing conditions on FDI and speed up FIPB Removing bottlenecks ofpharma sector and increasing R&D Give out pre-cleared projects Using NREGA for skill development
4. Have a sovereign bond and reciprocalswaplines Moratorium on loan repayment for delayed projects Accelerate the Amritsar-Delhi-Kolkatta Corridor as this region is vital for growth  
5. Accelerate software exports by easing domestic movement of people, resolve the tax issues, make inward visas easier and taking up the Visa Bill with USA Focussing on annuity based PPP Projects.    
6. Raise easy resources by selling SUUTI, BALCO, HZLshares. Restore cash flows of firms by paying receivables    
7. Boost agriculture exports Boosting domestic electronic manufacture    
8. Bringing off shore Rupee market on shore Use PSU land for industrial parks    
9. Improve Coal India operations through PPP Restart renewable energy projects    
10. Boost textile exports Focus on incumbent investors for the short run    
11.   Resolve the tax issues and remove tax uncertainty    
12.   Using Government procurement to boost local Industry    
13.   Focusing on urban infrastructure