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Department of industrial policy and promotion favours policy rejig to create jobs

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NEW DELHI: The department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) is set to champion a dramatic overhaul of government policy, including a change in the land acquisition law, in order to put manufacturing back on track so that job creation gets a much-needed boost and the prolonged slump in the economy can be reversed. In his first interview since taking over as DIPP secretary last month, Amitabh Kant told ET that the department has drawn up an action plan to be presented to the next government to open up foreign direct investment to many more sectors, alter labour laws to encourage job creation and push for amendments to the land acquisition law that has stalled a number of projects . Road Map for Next Govt

“India needs a second revolution in manufacturing,” said Kant, who headed the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (DMIC) before moving to DIPP. “How can you expect Indian manufacturing companies to compete with rest of the world with their hands tied up? It is not feasible. Manufacturing is a function of land labor and capital.” The new government will take charge by the end of May amid few concrete signs of an economic revival and looming threats in the shape of a monsoon that could be below normal and inflation that could prove difficult to tame. India’s economic growth declined to 4.5% in 2012-13 from 8.9% in 2010-11, largely because of the slump in manufacturing, which is set to contract by 0.2% in 2013-14 , as per the advanced estimates, the first time this would shrink since 1991-92.

Growth is estimated at 4.9% in 2013-14 . The decline in the share of manufacturing in India’s GDP to 15% in FY14 from nearly 17% in FY08 is being blamed for inadequate job creation as more young people enter the workforce . India will not be able to generate the 150 million jobs it needs over the next 10 years, according to a Kotak Institutional Securities report on Thursday that pointed out that in the seven years to FY 2012 India created only 15 million jobs. Kant agreed that manufacturing needs to create more jobs, which is what the department’s plan is all about. “We are working on a complete strategy to ease up labour and make it more job enhancing,” Kant said. Another element of the plan is to make it easier for companies to do business, the crux of this being to create a sense of competition among states. “We should award the performing states and the officers who have done well. We need to see the technology which has succeeded in the top-performing states and only needs to be replicated in other states,” the DIPP secretary said. The strategy also calls for freeing up more areas for overseas investment. “Open up defence, railways, construction, e-commerce and allowing NRI (non-resident Indian) investment in a much bigger way. All these things we are keeping ready for the next government ,” he said.

Indian Business News

COCA-COLA BOTTLERS TO INVEST RS510 CR IN HARYANA

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Coca-Cola bottling firms Kandhari Beverages and Enrich Agro Food Products on Tuesday said they will invest Rs510 crore in Haryana to add new manufacturing lines. The authorised franchise bottlers of Coca-Cola India, inked a pact with the State Government to expand their manufacturing infrastructure.

“A fresh, combined infusion of Rs510 crore will create an additional direct employment for 325 people,” both the companies said in a joint statement. As a part of the pact, Kandhari Beverages will invest Rs300 crore to set up multiple high speed manufacturing lines for juice, energy and sparkling drinks at Saha in Ambala and will be completed by 2018.

Enrich Agro Food Products will invest Rs165 crore to set up a new manufacturing line for beverages in Rohtak by 2018 and also invest Rs45 crore in a packaging unit for Coca-Cola.

Kandhari Beverages Pvt Ltd Executive Director Bikram Kandhari said: “This investment which will be utilised to enhance infrastructure in our bottling facilities and setting-up new manufacturing lines.”

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Indian Business News

Uber to Invest Rs. 120 Crores in India

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Taxi-hailing app Uber on Tuesday signed a pact with the Haryana Government, wherein it will invest Rs120 crore in technology based ride-sharing services. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed at the Happening Haryana Global Investors Summit 2016.

Under the agreement, Uber will invest in technology based ride-sharing services, which includes peer-to-peer transportation using private vehicles where the driver is reasonably compensated for expenses, tolls and other related costs.

Uber said this new form of reliable and convenient urban mobility will help create a real alternative to car ownership. Uber will also collaborate with the Government in creating smarter cities in Haryana.

“Haryana has been a leader in promoting information technology and we are excited to launch private vehicle ride-sharing to promote urban mobility, prevent pollution and reduce the time spent in traffic in our cities,” Vijayendra Kumar, Secretary IT, Haryana said in a statement.

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Indian Business News

FM Arun Jaitley rolls back Budget proposal to tax EPF withdrawal – Big win for salaried class!

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FM Arun Jaitley rolls back Budget proposal to tax EPF withdrawal - Big win for salaried class!

New Delhi: In what will bring cheers to millions of salaried class individuals in the country, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday rolled back the controversial budget proposal to tax EPF withdrawals.

Taking the first opportunity available, he made a suo motu statement in the Lok Sabha in which he also announced withdrawal of imposing monetary limit for contribution of employers to provident and superannuation fund of Rs 1.5 lakh for taking tax benefit.

He however stated that 40 percent exemption given to National Pension Scheme (NPS) subscriber at the time of withdrawal remains.

“In view of representations received, the government would like to do a comprehensive review of this proposal and therefore I withdraw the proposal,” Jaitley added.

Clarifying government’s stand on EPF in Lok Sabha, Jaitley said, “The main argument is that employees should have choice of where to invest. Our intention was to encourage more and more employees join the national pension scheme”.

Jaitley in his Budget for 2016-17 had proposed that 60 percent of the withdrawal on contribution to employee PF made after April 1 this year will be subject to tax. This would apply to superannuation funds and recognised provident funds including EPF.

This was criticised by all employees unions as well as political parties.

The proposal would not have impacted 3.26 crore EPFO subscribers drawing statutory wage of upto Rs 15,000 per month. Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has a total subscriber base of 3.7 crore.

(With Agency Inputs)

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