The Centre is mulling a new approach that institutionalises the combined strengths of its ‘Make In India’ (MII) and ‘Invest India’ initiatives with an aim to streamline them for attracting more investments, including from overseas, in the manufacturing sector.
The MII was unveiled in September 2014 to “transform India into a global design and manufacturing hub” while ‘Invest India’ is the government’s investment promotion and facilitation agency.
“We are encouraging the concerned people on this [the plan to combine MII and Invest India],” Suresh Prabhu, Commerce and Industry Minister, told The Hindu. “We had a programme in Stockholm, Sweden [last month], where we requested them that Invest India and MII can go hand-in-hand.”
He said MII was being upgraded, and “new sectors, new products and new territories” being identified.
The minister said, “We are already talking to the Finance Ministry. Our idea is that manufacturing and exports sectors should get a big boost [through measures in the Union Budget]. We are identifying 5-6 sectors, and there should be certain incentives for such [newly identified] manufactured products to help them scale up globally.”
Mr. Prabhu said even in the exports sector, “new products and new markets” are being considered for incentives, adding that “we are trying to work on a holistic strategy” to make India a global manufacturing and export hub.
He said the government was also trying to improve the Start-up India policy by studying why only 74 start-ups had qualified for tax benefits since the policy was unveiled in January 2016. “We will find out how the policy can be more start-up friendly. Start-ups need lot of support initially,” Mr. Prabhu said.
Deepak Bagla, managing director and CEO, Invest India, told The Hindu that what could be institutionalised include efforts to strengthen the State governments’ Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agencies and Start-up Policies. Besides, there is a need to hold regular sector-wise and country-wise round-tables as well as create specific groups using the latest technologies including social media to get quick feedback on policies, he said. While there is already a State-wise ease of doing business rankings, also in the pipeline are State-wise rankings in areas such as ‘start-up’- and ‘tourism’-friendliness, he added. “To go to the next level, we need to help the laggard States, because ultimately investment happens at the state-level,” Mr. Bagla said. Invest India is also in the process of identifying the strengths of each State to help them go in for tie-ups with countries that are world leaders in those areas. Besides, an exercise has begun to identify the countries attracting the maximum investment sector-wise, the reasons for the same, as well as efforts to convince those very investors that India can provide better return on their investments and greater efficiency in those sectors, he said.