labels: industry - general, governance
New policy on FDI news
Our Economy Bureau
26 May 2004

New Delhi:
Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath yesterday said that the government will work out a foreign direct investment (FDI) policy aimed at pushing up exports and increasing job opportunities. A new Exim Policy focusing on procedural simplification and reduction of transaction cost is likely to be announced by end-June or early July.

"We will have a new FDI policy, which will increase exports and generate employment. If required, we will build special mechanisms to generate employment," Kamal Nath said, in his first interaction with the media after assuming office.

Prime minister Manmohan Singh would decide whether the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) would remain with the finance ministry or return to the department of industrial policy and promotion, he added.

Ruling out the government intervention to prop up the rupee, he said he would take up the matter with the finance ministry to ensure that the Reserve Bank of India or the government stepped in whenever required.

The government would strive for a double-digit export growth on a sustainable basis, increase in agricultural exports and greater income for farmers, as opposed to traders, the minister said.

To create an enabling climate for promoting exports, the board of trade would be reconstituted and an advisory group of 25-30 top exporters would be set up in the ministry, he said.

He indicated that the country''s stance on bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations would remain largely the same though the focus would be on ensuring that the agriculture sector was not affected.

The minister said India would continue with its partnership with developing countries under the G20 umbrella on agriculture.

"Agriculture is not merely an occupation but a way of life in India. We are committed to protecting farmers'' interests and will try to see to it that the focus is India-specific in agriculture," he said.

The government would go ahead with the proposed legislation for special economic zones, but he did not commit on a special dispensation on labour laws in these zones.

He said efforts would be made to see that the sector, which was the second highest employment provider, could help in tackling the problem of unemployment.

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New policy on FDI