The government proposes to provide a boost to the service sector as it has a key role in generating employment and ensuring the success of the government's 'Make in India' initiative, minister of state (independent charge) for commerce and industry, Nirmala Sitharaman, said.
The government has identified IT & telecom, tourism, media and entertainment, healthcare, logistics, professional services, education, R&D, space and SME in services as focus areas, the minister stated.
Addressing a meeting of the consultative committee of Parliament attached to her ministry, she said services play an important role in the development of many economies of the world. It is not just that service sector is major employer in several countries, many services are critical inputs in local production and trade as well, she said.
The minister noted that apart from being a foreign exchange earner, the service sector has a critical role in the inclusive growth – in terms of providing significant employment opportunities. Thus, export of services has a direct bearing in creating more jobs locally and driving the entrepreneurial spirit as well.
Sitharaman said India offers to the world abundant human resources, including superior quality of professionals. In this regard, she cited the example of her recent visit to Myanmar where India has been offered all help to set up healthcare facilities, including Indian doctors and medical professionals. She said a similar request has also been received from Kenya.
It is a recognised fact that better services improve the competitiveness of manufacturing in international trade via reduced costs, the minister said, stressing the role of services in the success of ''Make in India'' campaign.
Services constitute 57 per cent of India's GDP, yet the country's share in world exports of services remain at a low level 3.24 per cent, she noted and emphasised the need to focus on service sector.
She also pointed to the need to identify the key barriers faced by different types of services in realising the right potential.
The minister said India also needs to engage business and governments across the world to promote greater exchange of trade in services with the rest of the world.
With this aim, the minister said, the department of commerce in association with Services Export Promotion Council (SEPC) and CII is organising a Global Exhibition on Services (GES) from 23 to 25 April 2015 at ITPO, New Delhi.
The main objective of the GES is to create a global platform for increased trade in services and it will be an annual event on the calendar. ''GES will enhance strategic cooperation and develop synergies to strengthen multilateral relationships between all stakeholders, tap the potential for services' exports and increase FDI flow in the services sector,'' she said, adding that more than 40 countries are expected to take part in the GES.
The consultative committee identified the action points and forwarded these to the respective administrative ministries/departments for taking follow-up action to remove the barriers by making administrative and legislative reforms in the respective sectors.