Government Policies and Business Regulatory Environment

The 'Make in India' Program

In September 2014, the government launched the Make in India campaign, focusing on initiatives to facilitate investments into India and promoting it as a global manufacturing hub.10 The program aims to improve the ease of doing business in India by reducing red tape, improving infrastructure, opening up more sectors to FDI, and most importantly, changing the image of the government from a 'permit-issuing authority' to a true business partner. The program has been a stellar success with India reducing dependency on imports and turning many sectors into domestic manufacturing hubs that cater to global demand. The Make in India program dismantled outdated frameworks and brought in transparent mechanisms that disbanded investor complaints and helped drive investment in the Indian market.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Prime Minister announced his vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat (translated to Self-reliant India). In line with the Make in India program, the government has appealed to the citizens to focus on being self-reliant and vocal for local products. The Aaatmanirbhar Bharat program has five pillars, namely economy, infrastructure, system, vibrant demography, and demand.

The Aatmanirbhar Bharat program aims to achieve self-reliance through a five-stage plan:11

  • Phase-I: Businesses including MSMEs
  • Phase-II: Poor, including migrants and farmers
  • Phase-III: Agriculture
  • Phase-IV: New Horizons of Growth
  • Phase-V: Government Reforms and Enablers

Broadly, this program provides thrust in the form of government reforms relaxing state borrowing limits, plans to privatize Public Sector Units (PSUs), redefining Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises to be more inclusive, reducing tax deduction rates and support in managing working capital amongst others.

Atmanirbhar Bharat is not intended to promote protectionism or isolationism by erecting trade barriers but instead seeks to make the Indian economy robust in the long run by scaling up manufacturing, accelerating infrastructure development, attracting investments, and promoting consumption-led growth.

Farm Bills 2020

In September 2020, the Upper House of the Parliament introduced three new Bills as reforms to the agricultural and farming sector, which aim to liberalize the farming ecosystem significantly. These three Bills, namely, the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce Bill (Promotion and Facilitation), the Farmers Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services (Empowerment and Protection) Bill, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, aim to revolutionize the way farm operations are carried out in India.

The introduction of these Bills is in line with the government’s vision of doubling farmers’ incomes by 2022. The Bills broadly focus on providing access to direct marketing mechanisms, reducing farm wastage and price stability, creating an open ecosystem, enabling contractual agreements for large orders, opening up the sector for FDI, etc.

The Bills were passed on 22 September 2020 and is currently in the process of being implemented.

  • 10.About, Make in India, https://www.makeinindia.com/about, accessed on 30 September 2020
  • 11..Building Aatmanirbhar Bharat & Overcoming COVID-19, National Portal of India, https://www. india.gov.in/spotlight/building-atmanirbhar-bharat-overcoming-covid-19 , accessed on 30 August 2020
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Rajiv Rajendran
Executive Director
Corporate Services

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