New Delhi, India – India’s trade and economy minister Shri Ananthampurthy has vowed to not only improve trade, but also to reform the rules that govern it.
Shri Asif Mohan Sharma had just arrived from Japan to take up his new role as trade minister on Wednesday.
“The challenge before the government is to take the path of transformation that we are going to pursue.
It is not about changing the system,” Mr Mohan said at a joint press conference with the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe.”
The problem is how we are able to maintain a level playing field and not lose the competitive edge,” he added.
The new minister said he had no intention to change the rules governing the rules for the sector, which have been under the scrutiny of a committee set up by the previous government to look at their reform.
He said the government was working towards an “innovative and progressive” regulatory framework and a comprehensive plan to create more job opportunities for small and medium enterprises.
Mr Sharma said that, as part of his mandate, he was keen to bring about an “aggressive regulatory framework for the country” to “create jobs and foster growth”.
“We need to make sure that we have a regulatory framework that will enable small and large enterprises to grow.
This will benefit the entire economy,” he said.
Mr Sharma, who was born in Delhi and was educated at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, said his priority is to bring the best possible governance, create jobs and boost the country’s economy.
The new trade minister, who took over the trade portfolio from Mr Modi on Tuesday, said he would make it a priority to “reduce and regulate” trade barriers, particularly for foreign direct investment (FDI).
“There are too many barriers.
I will work to make it so that we can have more jobs for Indian entrepreneurs,” Mr Sharma said.
He said he was “optimistic” that the new cabinet would make the rules more transparent and transparent, including the rules on investment, the rules around intellectual property, and the rules regarding public sector undertakings.
“It will be a priority for us to take a more active role in reducing and regulating barriers to FDI.
We need to do it because we have the ability to do so,” he stated.
Trade minister says reforms to promote job creation, boost competitiveness in sectors of the economy The new finance minister has also vowed to reform how the country deals with its trade deficit, including by removing the “deficit trap” which penalises companies that have to spend more than they earn and by giving priority to smaller firms and to smaller industries in the overall balance of trade.
In a separate development, trade and Industry Minister Shashi Tharoor has said that the government has a plan to reform rules for foreign investment in India to boost the competitiveness of domestic companies.
According to a draft of the plan, the government will “re-evaluate” the rules to ensure that investment is not given to firms that have been established for profit, or that are not local in nature, in order to ensure there is not any incentive to create foreign investment.
This will not be a one-size-fits-all approach to the country, he said, but he added that it will be “an approach that is inclusive”.
Mr Tharoll said that there are already several plans in place for this.
A proposal for a “zero-cost foreign direct investee” has been submitted to the Cabinet for consideration, while the government aims to create a new set of standards for FDI to ensure it is not used to discriminate against domestic companies or small and middle-sized firms.
There are also proposals to allow private companies to invest in a number of sectors, such as infrastructure, agriculture, healthcare, education, research and development, defence, tourism and public administration.
Earlier, Mr Tharossos proposal was dismissed by the Prime Ministers Office, the ministry of external affairs and the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
The proposed changes have been met with scepticism from India’s big companies, who have warned that the proposal would have negative effects on the countrys competitiveness and would lead to the loss of billions of dollars.
But Mr Sharma defended the move, saying it would create jobs.
And he said the plan would not “overcome” the “economic distortions” of the existing investment regime.