Govt to form JV with FICCI for promoting investments

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New Delhi, Apr 12 (UNI) The government today said it will form a joint venture (JV) with industry body FICCI for the promotion of investments in the country.

The JV, named Invest India would be funded by the government and managed by FICCI, Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath said at the National Seminar on Foreign Trade Policy organised by FICCI here.

Invest India, to be set up under Section 25 of the Companies Act, will be between the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and FICCI.

The Minister said while inflation was a concern that should be dealt with by managing the supply side constraints, the foreign trade policy review unveiled yesterday seeks to enlarge India's trade basket with the inclusion of high value-added manufactured products and items such as fruits and vegetables.

''We invite suggestions from industry within 15 days on the 'Focus Product&Focus Market' schemes announced in the trade policy review,'' Mr Nath said, adding that these schemes would help exporters to access existing markets with new products and penetrate the hitherto untapped markets with existing export products.

The government's objective, he said, was to continue to build on the economic momentum that the country has gained and make a serious bid to attain the export target of 200 billion dollars in 2008-09.

In this context, he described the talk of India's competitiveness being impacted by China's performance as a ''bogey''.

''In fact, China's competitiveness was going to change and that gives me the confidence that the 200 billon dollar target was achievable,'' Mr Nath pointed out.

FICCI Senior Vice President Harsh Pati Singhania called for continuation of the DEPB scheme till such time as a suitable replacement was put in place.

He emphasised the need for neutralisation of state taxes and suggested that income tax benefits be extended to Software Technology Parks as has been done for EOUs.

UNI MP PBB BD1450

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