Union Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu today said that the upcoming industrial policy was expected to bring new investment and increase the share of manufacturing in the country’s GDP. He also assured industry that outstanding issues on Goods and Services Tax would be taken up at the GST Council and would be properly addressed. “The new industrial policy has been approved by the Commerce Ministry and it is at the stage of inter-ministerial consultation. It is hoped that it will be approved by the Cabinet very soon,” he said. “This will result in new investment coming into the industrial sector and would improve the contribution of manufacturing to GDP in a big way,” Prabhu told PTI after presenting the Chemexcil Export Awards.
The minister said the government had taken a number of initiatives to promote the chemical industry but added that the key task of penetrating new markets would have to be taken care of by the industry itself. Stating that India would become a USD 5 trillion economy in the next 7-8 years, Prabhu said that the nation cannot afford to be governed by the trade rules for a poor country.
He said that industry must think seriously about creating new market opportunities in this changing context. Assuring them that the government would sort out all issues faced by the industry, Prabhu said it was important not to get bogged down by these issues and lose sight of the opportunities on the horizon in the process.
Noting that GST was a very important matter, the minister said the government had met export organisations and many issues had already been addressed. He said that outstanding issues on GST will be taken to the GST Council and would be properly addressed. He also asked industrialists to take up the issues concerning GST with states as well, since they too were part of the GST Council. He said this will help the government to take up the issues in a better way.
Prabhu said he wanted to create an online portal to handle all transactions related to foreign trade. “The country’s chemical sector has huge growth potential and it needs to create a capacity to meet exports’ demand. This is possible because of the large pool of entrepreneurs who make sustained efforts to promote chemical sector exports,” he said.
The chemical sector is expected to more than double to touch USD 300 billion by 2025 from the present USD 147 billion, he said, promising enabling support from the government to achieve this.
Prabhu also pointed out that the Make in India initiative was expected to foster growth in Indian chemical industry by enabling duty rationalisation for feedstock, improving infrastructure and research and development and skill development along with ease of regulation for setting up “Reverse SEZs” and tax incentives for R&D investments.