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Opinion

From boosting electric mobility to boosting the textile sector, Niti Aayog draws up the reform map for 2021

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Accelerating electric mobility, improving the competitiveness of the textile industry, improving access to credit for small and medium-sized businesses, and boosting water conservation measures will dominate Niti Aayog’s to-do list in the new year as it seeks to boost the government’s reform agenda for sustained economic growth.

As the think tank continues to work with various stakeholders to boost the country’s economy, its vice president and economist Rajiv Kumar said the government has already used the Covid-19 crisis to take various steps to lay the foundation for “rapid growth. and held in the country. next years”.

While noting that these steps and reforms need to be further consolidated, Kumar said the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi “is certainly not protectionist” and has been continually expanding the scope of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

“In the next calendar year, Niti Aayog will study several areas to advance the reform agenda. These will be widely in the field of driving the electric mobility movement.

“… the second area in which we will work is the collaboration with the textile ministry in the creation of textile mega firms that will improve the competitiveness of the textile industry, help us to expand our exports for both the textile and clothing sectors , ”He told PTI in an interview.

In addition, he said that Niti Aayog will push the agenda on water conservation and better water use, as well as analyze the possibility of improving access to formal credit for small and medium-sized enterprises because they will be one of the pillars of Aatmanirbhar Bharat.

According to him, Niti Aayog will work on creating a body of scientific and empirical evidence to examine the suitability of natural agricultural techniques in India, whose proponents have claimed that this can dramatically reduce costs and increase farmers’ incomes. also quite significantly.

Doubling the income of farmers is a priority for the Union government.

“So Niti Aayog is now working closely with ICAR and other agricultural universities to have a body of empirical evidence through field trials to examine the benefits of natural farming,” said Kumar.

The government expert group will also study the possibility of incorporating the use of traditional medicine and promoting integrated medicine practices, as has been done in several other countries.

“Because the efficacy of the traditional medicine that is AYUSH has proven to be quite high in the period of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

Niti Aayog is playing a key role in the launch of the COVID-19 vaccine and its member VK Paul heads the National Group of Experts on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC).

Emphasizing that steps have been taken to turn the COVID-19 crisis into an opportunity, Kumar said that “the economy has already recovered, much better than we all expected.”

He expects the country’s economy, which contracted in the first two quarters of the current financial year, to register a small positive growth in the January-March quarter.

“Of course, it will grow at very high rates in 2021-22, but beyond that it will also reach its potential growth rate, which is estimated at 7-8 percent,” he said.

Noting that there is a need to focus on enhancing the global competitiveness of India’s industry and achieving global scales, Kumar said that will require continued efforts by the government to reduce logistics costs and improve the availability of credit for all units, especially for small and medium businesses. .

“And continue with the focus of expanding infrastructure capacities and promoting public-private partnership, in order to give more space to private companies to accelerate economic growth in the country,” he said.

On the government’s divestment program, Kumar said that Niti Aayog recommended the sale of stakes in several CPSEs (Central Public Sector Companies) and that the Union Cabinet itself has approved more than 20 such proposals.

“So (the sale of participation in CPSE) is very in the cards and has been in the cards for this government,” he added.

The divestment process is progressing for several CPSEs, including Air India and BPCL.

In a query on India’s decision not to be part of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Association (RCEP), Kumar said that the Modi government is certainly not protectionist because it has continually expanded the scope of FDI and done so under the automatic route. for most areas.

“The exit from the RCEP was made because it was clearly seen that until we have improved our competitiveness, for which the government is now taking very active steps, joining the RCEP under the condition that it was offered would not have served the national interest ”. he pointed.

According to him, India’s exit from the RCEP is certainly not moving away from the country’s commitment to participate more in global flows of technology, finance, goods and services.

Niti Aayog Vice Chairman also noted that India continues to have nine free trade agreements (FTAs) and is negotiating 19 free trade agreements with various countries.

“But we have to be very aware of which agreement serves our national interest and which does not,” he emphasized.

In an effort to boost economic production, Niti Aayog played an active role in formulating the Production Linked Incentives (PLI) scheme for ten key sectors.

This year, it introduced a conclusive draft model law and rules for states on land titling with the goal of reducing litigation and facilitating the process of acquiring land for infrastructure projects.

Furthermore, Niti Aayog published a draft report entitled ‘Guiding Principles for Uniform Regulation at National Level of Online Fantasy Sports Platforms in India’. RAM PTI BKS

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