PM Narendra Modi invites Japan Inc to India, vows fast clearances; sets up SMT

Written by Press Trust of India | Tokyo | Updated: Sep 1 2014, 18:07pm hrs
PM Narendra ModiIndia wants to emulate Japan in terms of quality, zero defect and delivery systems while carrying out skill development, said PM. (AP Photo)
Holding that the environment of "disappointment" was over, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today invited Japanese businesses to join India's developmental efforts with a promise of non-discriminatory and speedy clearances and announced setting up of a Special Management Team under PMO to facilitate business from Japan.

Addressing top business leaders of Japan and India here, Narendra Modi flagged the recent decisions to liberalise FDI policy in the railways, defence and insurance and said rules and laws are being changed in India which would show results in the near future.

Modi, who has enjoyed immense reputation in Japan as then Gujarat Chief Minister in terms of ensuring the state's progress, said India wants to emulate Japan in terms of quality, zero defect and delivery systems while carrying out skill development.

He underlined the need for closer and deeper cooperation between Japan and India to champion the cause of global "vikas vaad (development) instead of vistar vaad (expansionism)".

"We have to decide if we want to have 'vikas vaad' or 'vistar vaad' which leads to disintegration. Those who follow the path of Buddha and have faith on 'vikas vaad', they develop. But we see, those having ideas of the 18th century, engage in encroachments and enter seas (of others)," he said in comments that may be seen as targeting China which is having conflict over South China Sea with some neighbouring countries.

While wooing Japanese businesses, Modi cited the latest growth figures of 5.7 per cent in the first quarter of this financial year and suggested that the phase of disappointment was over.

"See the work done in 100 days of my government. Earlier, the GDP used to hover around 5-5.4 per cent and led to an environment of disappointment...But in the first quarter of our government, there has been a growth of 5.7 per cent. It is a big jump. Now there is renewed hope," he said.

Targeting the previous Manmohan Singh government, he said the situation was bad for one decade. He specifically mentioned the UPA government's 'Go, No-Go' policy with regard to environmental clearances and said it would put anybody in a "dilemma" with regard to taking any decision.

He said India, after 30 years, has a government with full majority, which puts increased responsibility on the government to deliver as 125 crore people of the country have an urge to see the quality of life change.

Inviting Japanese businesses, particularly to infrastructure and clean energy sectors, the Prime Minister asked them to keep in mind the Gujarat experience.

He promised single-window clearances, speedy decision- making which is non-discriminatory in nature.

He said two representatives of Japanese business can be part of an Indian team which decides on business proposals. They can be permanently part of this decision making.

Asserting that good governance is his priority, the Prime Minister said single window-clearances is a significant part of it as he realises the importance of easing business, simplifying procedures, quickening processes and using technology.

"I understand well the importance of coordination between government and industry," he said while noting that he wants to replicate the experiments he made in Gujarat at the national level.

"I have decided a Japan-plus Special Management Team directly under the PMO to absolutely facilitate proposals from Japan. I also propose that you nominate two people from Japan who would be made part of a team which looks into business proposals and they can be permanently part of our decision- making," he said.

"The results of initiatives taken in the first 100 days of my government are clearly visible," he said.

He talked about the "bold" decision to allow 100 per cent FDI in railways and the "significant" decisions of raising the cap of FDI from 26 per cent 49 per cent in defence and insurance.

He said results of these decisions will be visible soon.

"To make the PMO more efficient, we have started Japanese Management System. Training is already underway under the Kaizen system (of management)," Modi said, adding this was to bring the Japanese efficiency, at least in his PMO.

He talked about some of the quick decisions taken after he became the Prime Minister, like clearance to setting up of Japanese bank in Ahmedabad and completion of rare earth materials agreement.

"Being a Gujarati, commerce is in my blood. Businesses do not need concessions. They only need the environment to grow. It is the responsibility of the government and the leader to frame policy so that things start to move. If policy decisions are in place, there can be no discrimination and all get equal treatment," Modi said.

Pitching for closer cooperation between India and Japan, he said it was fortunate thing to happen that in both countries, governments have been elected with full majority.

Noting that 65 per cent of Indian population is below 35 years, Modi said Japan could help India in skill development with focus on quality, zero deficit, efficiency and delivery systems.

He talked about the need for mapping global requirement of skilled people so that India could meet this need. He also underlined the need for continuous research so that issues related to intellectual property could be addressed.

"Among the 125 crore people of India, there is an urge. They want a change in quality of life," he said.

He talked about clean energy, saying it is the "biggest requirement" of India as it does not want to compromise with nature. Japan will be of great help in this regard.

While wooing the Japanese businesses, Modi said they should keep in mind their experience of dealing with him as Gujarat Chief Minister.

"I assure you that there will be the same kind of response and speed," he said.

Describing industry as "partner" of his government, he stressed that business is not only for creating bank balance, but much more than that.

He said the whole world accepts that the 21st century will belong to Asia. "But I have a question. How should the 21st century be We have to give an answer to this. It will depend on how deep and progressive our relationship (between India and Japan) is. Relationship between India and Japan should work for promotion of peace and progress to address the needs of the humanity. India and Japan have a big responsibility. It is the responsibility of not only the governments and leaders but also of the businesses to see which way the world goes."

Viewing business fraternity as a "big driving force" for peace and progress, he said India wants to play a role for benefit of humanity.

He told the gathering that he was accompanied on his visit by a "heavy weight" team of business leaders, who "form an important part of India's progress. We are partners".

The business delegation accompanying him includes Gautam Adani, Chairman of Adani Group, Baba Kalyani, CMD of Bharat Force Limited, Sunil Mittal, Chanda Kochhar, Kiran Mazumdar, Adi Godrej and Sunil Munjal.