ASSOCHAM organized sessions with govt. and industry leaders throw up several big ideas for an Atmanirbhar Bharat

New Delhi: ASSOCHAM today concluded successfully the second round of series under “Beyond the Lockdown – through web conference today with the theme being this time that of The Economic Package and Thrust Sectors”. The objective of this series was to share perspectives and ideas that will help our policy makers in formulating effective policies and reforms for attracting investments in India and truly pushing forward the mission of Make in India.

In a power packet, key important speakers and stakeholders including Shri Manoj Joshi, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing, Govt. of India, Shri Ghanshyam Prasad, Jt Secy, Ministry of Power, Dr. Rajiv Arora, Addl. Director General, DGTR, Department of Commerce and Shri Alok Chandra, Economic Adviser, Ministry of Mines, Govt of India, came together and put views out on four key themes: Opportunities in Agriculture and Food Processing, Explore in India for Make in India, Self-Reliant Power Value Chain: India’s Enabling Policy and Implementation measures and Strategies for Import Substitution.

Speaking at the occasion Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani, President, ASSOCHAM, said, “As the world has been going through a difficult situation, we can see lot of opportunities are also emerging into world level as well as in India. In this context, the Government of India has been taking measures to revive the Indian Economy and talking measures to encourage foreign investors to look India as the potential destination for investments and to continuation of business. We applaud the timely measures taken by the Indian Government so far amidst COVID-19 pandemic to support the industry and economy. The vision laid by Hon’ble Prime Minister is highly praiseworthy, to fulfil the dream of making a Self-Reliant India. The present moment gives an opportunity for India which can reap rich dividends by creating a manufacturing-friendly environment and offering lucrative deals to global players for setting up units in India.”

Talking about the need for effective and urgent policy measures to drive business continuity beyond the lockdown and also strategic structural reforms to convert the domestic resources into opportunities, Shri Deepak Sood, Secretary General, ASSOCHAM said, “The economic stimulus will serve the cause of growth, jobs, price stability and macroeconomic stability better than fiscal conservatism. Given the volatile situation it is therefore, crucial to rigorously strategize to make effective implementation of announced schemes and also share ideas of India as Atma Nirbhar Bharat in Manufacturing and also leader in exports. The current situation gives India an opportunity due to availability of abundant resources including required skill set to attract investments in India and push forward the mission of Make in India.”

Session 1 was held on the theme Opportunities in Agriculture and Food Processing, which discussed the schemes launched to boost the agribusiness and food processing sector of India as well the Indian export market. The session was attended by industry experts Mr. Manoj Joshi, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing, Govt. of India, Mr. Chandrashekhar, Consulting Editor, The Hindu Business Line, Dr. Ombeer Tyagi, VP, UPL Ltd, Mr. Ashwani Kumar Arora, Managing Director & CEO, LT Foods Ltd, Shri Kulwin Seehra, Chairman, ASSOCHAM Punjab Council & Executive Director, GNA Axles Ltd, Mr. Pranav Doshi, Director, Gujarat Agro Infrastructure Mega Food Park Ltd, Mr. Vikas Jain, Joint MD, PMV Nutrients.

Mr. Vineet Agrawal, Sr. Vice President, ASSOCHAM said, “Difficult times are faced by the economy in the country but it creates opportunities like bringing global value chains to India and creating a manufacturing friendly environment”

The main points discussed at the session were:

Huge upcoming opportunities for the RTE (Ready to Eat) and RTC (Ready to Cook) market after the pandemic are there are to cater the local as well as the global food industry. Food clusters and crops of potato mangoes and citrus food from India have a huge export market potential which can be tapped. Marine export is increasing as well.
Backward integration of food value chain will be increased with the help of these reforms. Private sector will make the investment in the capacity building of the supply with the help of these policies. The farmers will get a better price for their produce.
Regulator in food processing and primary agriculture should consult the stakeholders and then launch policy.
Varieties of rice other than Basmati which are popular in other parts of the world have an opportunity in local as well as global market.
Incentives from the government in this sector can be across the industry and not just MSMEs.
How the technology in agriculture industry and use of biofuel can contribute to the economy. Water consumption is lowered and cost of labour is also reduced by the use of mechanization.
Right time for the agriculture economy to gain momentum
Guidelines in sync with the FPOs than can be readily implemented. The scheme will benefit the fragmented land holdings. There will be improvement in the cold chain setup and improved entry for technologies with these reforms.
APMC act had separate licenses for the producers and for storage and warehousing so there are some grey areas as far as the licenses are concerned and a clarity is required. Funds with the investment agencies should be distributed in an equivalent manner so as to achieve a common goal of boosting the agriculture and food processing sector
Liqour industry is dependent on the agriculture so there should be a holistic approach for the overall development.
At ‘Explore in India for Make in India’ session experts call for comprehensive mining reforms to achieve India’s full potential in the mining sector in tandem with the best interest of all stakeholders. The seminar was attended by experts Shri Alok Chandra, Economic Adviser, Ministry of Mines, Govt of India, Dr Aboobacker Siddique P, IAS, Secretary, Dept. of Mines & Geology, Govt. of Jharkahand, Ms. Ruchika Chaudhry Govil, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Steel, Govt. of India, Shri V R Sharma, MD, JSPL Limited, Shri Pradeep Koneru , Managing Director, Trimex Sands Private Limited, Mr. Ranjan Mathai, Advisor in Vedanta Ltd and Former Foreign Secretary of India.

Stating that the administrative remarks play a key role in terms of mining environment, the panel suggested for:

· Renewed focus on exploration so that we can create a pipeline across minerals specifically keeping in mind the future demand of induced sectors. We should learn from China how they are taking overseas deals making it a bigger player in the global mining market. India can also be a trendsetter in this region by taking it as a window of opportunity for us.

· Secondly, India has a high geological potential for minerals. Most of the minerals on or just below the surface have been located and there is a need to look deeper for concealed mineral deposits. The country needs to have a proper mineral resource mapping strategy especially at its five mineral rich states Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

· In order to that the state Directorates of Geology & Mining should do some capacity building so is our Geological Survey of India (GSI) and McNally Sayaji Engineering Limited (MSEL). It is high time to have corporate structure at state level which can take the capacity of Directorates of Geology & Mining

· Third points is clarity on how that revenue sharing will happen so that stakeholders especially the junior exploration and mining companies can get the confidence from those policy aspects.

· Lastly, the panel suggested to have separate issue based policy along with umbrella policy

The third session was titled Self-Reliant Power Value Chain: India’s Enabling Policy and Implementation,” and was attended by Shri Ghanshyam Prasad, Jt Secy, Ministry of Power Panelist Shri Prashant Jain, Jt MD and CEO JSW Energy Panelist Mr Ganesh Srinivasan, CEO, Tata Power DDL Panelist Shri Ravi Arya, Advisor (Former CEO – Thermal), Hindustan Power Projects Pvt. Ltd Panelist Shri Rahul Varshney, Director, Statkraft India Panelist Shri M. R. Krishnarao, Head Regulatory & Commercial, Sr. Vice President, Adani Power.

Deliberations between the Industry and Government officials attempted provide clarity on various policy and fiscal framework required for enabling environment, through which India could achieve self-reliant energy security. Main issues discussed was as to how the Ministry of Power could do handholding on some issues related to the industry, liquidity support, need to boost up speed of implementation of reforms, challenges being faced by discoms and new challenges seen going forward.

The last session was about Strategies for Import Substitution and the participants to the panel were Mr. S Seetharaman, Chair, WTO, Trade & Investment, ASSOCHAM Panelist Dr. Rajiv Arora, Addl. Director General, DGTR, Department of Commerce Panelist Mr. Parag Satpute, Managing Director, Bridgestone Tyres Pvt. Ltd. Panelist Mr. Dhiraj Nayyar, Co-Chair, WTO, Trade & Investment and Director, Economics & Policy, Vedanta Panelist Shri Kulwin Seehra, Chairman, ASSOCHAM Punjab Council & Executive Director, GNA Axles Ltd.

Issues ranged on talks of raw material imports and the country’s dependence on it and its impact on the domestic industry, and how certain sectors like electronics, solar, pharma, auto, etc. hace a huge potential to drive India’s growth story in the coming times.

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