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Investment Commission has facilitated investment of $30 Bn: FM

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, July 7: The 'Investment Commission' Report released here today makes a slew of recommendations for eliminating impediments to investment spanning mutiple sectors, including reversal of policies and breach of cotract, lack of level playing field, especially in sectors with PSU disinvestment, and inflexible labour laws.

The Report was released here by Finance Minister P Chidambaram at a Press Conference, where the three members of the Commission were present. They are Mr Ratan Tata, Mr Deepak Parikh, and Dr Ashok S Ganguly.

Mr Chidambaram lauded the work of the Commission and the projetcs it has helped to get, including facilitating POSCO's entry into India, LG mobile handsets project and Space TV Ltd.

Mr Chidambaram said the government was considering the suggestion of the Commission for providing fiscal concessions for manufacture of IT Hardware as also others, including the broad macroeconomic framework for creating a conducive environment for promoting investments.

The other impediments to investment relate to; (a) investment restrictions and entry route barriers; (b) absence of long- term policies, and non-implementation;(c) engagement of several agencies in doing the same or similar activities relating to FDI; (d) brueaucratic delays, discretionary interpretation, vested interest, bias and subjective practice; (e) Centre- State divergence on investment related policies; (f) high cost of entry, transactions and exit and ineffective dispute settlement (g)poor infrastructure and (h) lack of clear identification of priority sectors.

Mr Chidambaram said as a result of the herculean efforts of the Investment Commission, an investment of 28 to 30 billion dollars has been facilatited.

He described their hardwork as "labour of love" and said they have spent a good deal of time in promoting 'Brand India' outside the country. They have used their own human resources and cleared the mist that shrouds the minds of foreign investors, mostly based on misconceptions. This nature of work could not have been done by the government, he said.

Mr Chidambaram said the Commission made a study of 25 key setors spanning infrastructure, manufacturing, services, natural resources and knowledge economy. The Finance Minister said they represent a significant part of the economy, and between them would require an aggregate investment of 525 to 550 billion dollars over the next five years. The sector studies also identified past investment levels, plans and forecasts for future investment and identification of the detterents to investment.

The Finance Minister said the Commission has interacted with several Ministries at the Centre and State levels, industrial bodies and associations, business delegations, and companies.

The Commission has recommended providing a level playing field in sectors with PSU dominance, including establishing an Independent Central Regulatory Commission headed by a Chief Commissioner appointed by the President or the Prime Minister with independent Regulators for each regulated sector.

Other recommendations of the Commission include: (a) creating a special high level fast track mechanism for priority sector projects; enhancing availability of skilled manpower for sectors like Biotechnology, Automotive Engineering, Textile engineering, and in the field of IT establishing new private educational institutes with international collaborators; (b) facilitiating upgradation of Urban infrastructure by having a directly elected Mayor in key cities--as in the case with major cities in China and the United States; and (c) establishing a single point at the Centre to implement policies and procedures to enhance investment as well as facilitiate high value projects across Ministries and Departments.


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