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Modi urges FICCI to help MSMEs boost business

By Deepak Arora

NEW DELHI, Dec 13: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has exhorted corporate India to pledge itself to the creation of a New India - an India that fulfils the aspirations of the poor and needy, gives fillip to domestic industry, big and small, where Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are hand-held by large corporates to serve the requirements of the people in every nook and corner of the country.

Addressing captains of trade and industry while inaugurating the 90th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) at Vigyan Bhavan today, the Prime Minister said it now devolves on industry leaders to turn their attention to minimising imports to fuel domestic production, which has a direct bearing on creation of jobs and domestic wealth creation.

Narendra Modi said that a lot has been achieved since independence, but several challenges have arisen as well. He said the poor seemed to be struggling against the existing system for things such as bank accounts, gas connections, scholarships, pensions etc. He said the Union Government is working to end this struggle, and to create a system that is transparent and sensitive. He said Jan Dhan Yojana is one example of this, and increasing "ease of living" has been the focus of the Union Government. He also mentioned the Ujjwala Yojana, construction of toilets under Swachh Bharat Mission and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.

The Prime Minister said that his Government was working to strengthen the banking system, while pointing out that, “the issue of NPAs is a legacy received by the current Government from the last government. It was open loot of people’s hard earned money”, he added.

He said, rumours are now being spread about the Financial Regulation and Deposit Insurance (FRDI) Bill. He said the Government is working to protect the interests of the account holders, but rumours that are being spread are the exact opposite. He said organizations such as FICCI have a responsibility to generate awareness about such issues. He said, that industry has a big role also now in making GST more effective so that its benefits are passed on to the consumers.

Narendra Modi said the Government's effort is to ensure that maximum businesses register for GST. He said the more formal the system becomes, the more it will benefit the poor. It will enable easier availability of credit from the banks and reduce cost of logistics, thereby enhancing competitiveness of businesses. “I hope FICCI has some plan to generate large-scale awareness among small traders”.

The Prime Minister mentioned policy decisions taken in sectors such as urea, textile, civil aviation, and health and the benefits achieved from them. He also spoke of reforms in sectors such as defence, construction, food-processing etc. He said due to these measures, India's rank has risen from 142 to 100, in the World Bank "Ease of Doing Business" rankings. He also mentioned other indicators which point to the robust health of the economy while outlining the steps taken by the Government are also playing a key role in job creation.

The Prime Minister said orgainsations like FICCI have a key role to play in sectors such as food processing, start-ups, artificial intelligence, solar power, healthcare etc.

In his welcome address, Pankaj Patel, President, FICCI, said that the year 2017 has been a historic one with GST finally coming into force. Not just this, the steps taken to help business adjust to the new system, the user-feedback system, helping resolve bottlenecks, relaxing deadlines for filing returns and cut in tax rate are all indicative of the Government’s commitment to involve all stakeholders in its development agenda. ‘Sab ka Saath, Sab Ka Vikas’ is not just a slogan, but is now a reality.

The FICCI President said, “We expect the growth to cross 7% soon but the need of the hour is to grow 9-10% per year for the next 30 years. This is the imperative if we have to engage the poor in development, reduce inequality and most importantly to generate direct and indirect employment at the speed of 20 million jobs per year. To go from 7% to 9% plus growth, we need a booming export growth of over 25% per year.”
Mr. Patel added, “We need to develop and execute our own alternative long term strategy to ensure export growth of 25% per annum and a 10% GDP growth per annum, over the next 30 years. FICCI has submitted an analysis on Export Development to the Ministry of Commerce earlier on developing our exports.”

Rashesh Shah, President-elect, FICCI, said that the bold reforms undertaken by the Government of India with speed, scale and decisiveness have enthused FICCI. He added that Prime Minister’s vision of ‘New India’ energized, galvanized and inspired the industry. He assured that FICCI would steadfastly work towards making Prime Minister’s vision of ‘New India’ a reality and would redouble to promote its efforts in sectors such as MSME, start-ups and women entrepreneurship.

Dr. Sanjaya Baru, Secretary General, FICCI at the outset welcomed the Prime Minister and the huge gathering of business leaders, Ambassadors and business delegates.

CBEC join hands with FICCI for the smooth implementation of TIR system in India

By Deepak Arora

NEW DELHI, Dec 5: Mr. Sandeep Kumar, Commissioner (Customs & EP), Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC) and Dr. Sanjaya Baru, Secretary General, FICCI interacted with the participants of a press meet organized by FICCI in association with CBEC and IRU to discuss the benefits and smooth implementation of TIR System in India.

Making his welcome address, Dr. Sanjaya Baru, Secretary General, FICCI talked about the benefits of TIR system and said, “TIR plays an important role in trade facilitation and has been a successful model for reducing trade transaction costs and facilitating higher growth of intra-regional and inter-regional trade.

He further stated that based on FICCI’s vast experience on ATA Carnet management, CBEC has chosen FICCI as National Guaranteeing Association for the operation of TIR System in India.

It’s a proud moment for FICCI and willbe committed to work towards smooth and successful implementation of the system in India. He also mentioned that given the significance of TIR in boosting regional connectivity, and India’s accession to the convention, it is recommended for other BBIN countries to opt for TIR to improve the effective transit procedures among the four countries and by connecting the BBIN region to other world markets.

FICCI will extend its maximum support to CBEC to help other BBIN countries to accede to the convention and reap the benefits.

In his special address, Mr Sandeep Kumar said that “The Government is looking at very active participation by the business sector to be able to use this particular convention that India has acceded to. Further he stated that the accession processwill be completed on 16th December 2017 and planning to ship out first containers from Nhava Sheva to Russia via Iran under TIR by early January 2018”

Mr Nirankar Saxena, Assistant Secretary General, FICCI said “TIR is one of the successful examples of a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model in international trade facilitation and will be a win-win collaboration for customs, FICCI and the business community”

Mr Umberto de Pretto, Secretary General, IRU, said, “The critical role of road transport in transforming economies and the necessary impetus that international trade facilitation conventions, like TIR, can offer in this endeavour, is in clear focus. We look forward to working with CBEC and FICCI on establishing seamless TIR operations for India – to the benefit of trade across the region.”

TIR is the only global customs transit system for moving goods across international borders. Supporting trade and development for more than 60 years, it is governed by the United Nations TIR Convention, overseen by the United Nations Economic Commission (UNECE), and managed by IRU, Geneva.

TIR stands for “Transports InternationauxRoutiers”. One of the most successful international transport conventions, TIR makes border crossings faster, more secure and more efficient, reducing transport costs, and boosting trade and development.

India acceded to the United Nations TIR Convention on 15th June 2017 - the Customs Convention on International Transport of Goods under cover of TIR Carnets. FICCI has been appointed by CBEC as National Guaranteeing Association for the operation of TIR System in India similar to ATA Carnet.

TIR will help Indian traders to have access to fast, easy, reliable and hassle free international system for movement of goods by road or multi-modal means across the territories of other contracting parties. It will be a boon to India’s trade and aims to integrate the economy with global and regional production networks through better connectivity. It can be an instrument for movement of goods along the International “North-South” Transport (INSTC) Corridor, which India is developing along with Russia.

PHD Chamber hails the mid-term review of the Foreign Trade Policy

NEW DELHI, Dec 5: While appreciating the vital reforms undertaken under the revised Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20, Mr. Anil Khaitan, President, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that the policy revisions will facilitate the trade and boost India’s exports.

The expansion of assistance under the Merchandize Export from India Scheme (MEIS) and Services Export from India Scheme (SEIS) will certainly improve the competitiveness of various Indian products, especially readymade garments, agricultural products and labour intensive and MSME products to a remarkable extent, said Mr. Anil Khaitan.

With 45% of our GDP accounts for trade, covering 8000 of total 12000 lines of items under the various incentives will accentuate our trade and thereby, our GDP in the coming times, he added.

Relaxation in norms and delegation to regional authorities for export obligation period extension, installation of machinery and block wise extension under Export Promotion of Capital Goods (EPCG) Scheme would enhance the competitiveness of capital intensive products, said Mr. Anil Khaitan.

The new duty exemption scheme with Self Declaration and Self Ratification is a tremendous move forward. The regime will enhance India’s footprint in various international markets, especially in Africa and Latin America, said Mr. Anil Khaitan.

Re-export of the goods which are freely importable except SCOMET/Prohibited items will propel the performance of Indian products through expansion in competitiveness, said Mr. Anil Khaitan.

Creation of a new trade data analytics under DGFT to analyze the real time data will assist in keeping our trade performance in consonance with various countries across the world, said Mr. Anil Khaitan.

Going ahead, the fascinating feature of our Foreign Trade policy is continuity wherein remarkable alterations are pursued in a series of timely micro changes, he said.

The revisions will enhance the ease of doing business, improve the trade ecosystem and put India at a higher level in global competitiveness in the coming times, said Mr. Anil Khaitan.

 

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