While technology will form the bedrock for bringing transparency and efficiency to all its initiatives, the government wants to have intense engagement with industry representatives to ensure meaningful planning and timely correction. Technology & Industry Engagement will be Bedrock of EODB in India according to Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal.
Goyal was speaking at the 117th Annual Session of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in New Delhi recently.
India has ranked 40th in the Global Innovation Index in 2022, up from 81st position in 2014. According to Goyal, this was the outcome of a healthy industry-government partnership and resultant improved business environment.
“By instituting our own state rankings and improving internal processes, we want to make doing business in India simpler and attractive. Through a collaborative approach we will reduce the burden of compliance on industry and provide an environment that is free from draconian distractions,” he said.
Goyal informed that in the forthcoming winter session of Parliament his ministry would introduce holistic amendments to laws of doing business and reduce the compliance burden. “We have already taken over 30,000 actions towards streamlining or eliminating antiquated laws. The Company’s Act has been significantly decriminalised. But we want the industry to tell us what more needs to be done.” He asked PHDCCI to provide quick feedback about what it considered unnecessary or what provisions were being misused.
To enumerate the initiatives that have been taken for making India a business-friendly nation, Goyal mentioned the soon-to-be-launched National Single Window System, a portal that integrates central ministries and departments, state governments, and local bodies for providing approvals required by investors who want to set up business in India.
“We have already onboarded 32 central ministries, 20 states and several local bodies with the objective of providing all approvals digitally. The system is in beta stage, but over 18,000 approvals have already been given. I want to make sure that there are no closed doors behind the single window, and for this, I welcome your feedback.”
He also mentioned the recently launched Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), a government-owned portal that aims to break the monopoly of multinationals and democratise e-commerce for small and micro entrepreneurs and start-ups across the country. ONDC has become operational in Bengaluru, initially for food and grocery categories. “Through this platform, we are enabling the small mom and pop shopkeepers, young start-ups and the remote entrepreneurs to participate in India’s growth story.”
The PM’s Gati Shakti Masterplan is the other cog in the infrastructure wheel that will improve the ease of doing business. Gati Shakti is a digital platform that brings 16 ministries including railways and roadways together, for integrated planning and coordinated implementation of infrastructure connectivity projects. It integrates various schemes including Bharatmala, Sagarmala, inland waterways, dry/land ports, UDAN etc.
Goyal exhorted the Chamber to invite his team for a presentation, about how Gati Shakti Masterplan would generate multiple employment opportunities, cut down logistics costs, improve supply chains and make local goods globally competitive.
On the occasion of the 117th anniversary, Goyal complimented PHDCCI’s leaders for their dynamism and contribution toward nation-building. “India was able to come through successfully from the Covid-19 pandemic because of the way the industry conducted itself. It is a matter of great pride that there has not been a single instance of profiteering from this calamity. We not only safeguarded our own 1.30 billion but also contributed to the well-being of citizens of 130 countries in their hour of distress. For this, the nation is grateful to you all.”
He asserted that the government kept the interests of the nation and industry first while negotiating favourable FTAs with developed countries, or for that matter withdrawing from others. “The developed world wants to do business with India. It is drawn by our talent pool and market opportunity. Therefore we must deal with them with confidence instead of remaining in a protectionist mindset. In the normal course, I believe that we would become a $32 trillion economy by 2047. But I am sure that with our collective efforts we will be able to surpass this target and reach $50 trillion.”