Panel slams govt for slashing funds for crucial projects to fund ‘Make in India’ scheme

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New Delhi | Published: May 3, 2016 11:55:40 PM

A Parliamentary panel has pulled up the government for curtailing the expenses for crucial projects while funding initiatives like 'Make in India'.

Panel also said that an expenditure to the tune of 40 per cent under the scheme for investment promotion for Make in India till December 2015 reflects lack of imagination and preparation of blueprint to promote India as an investment destination. (Reuters)Panel also said that an expenditure to the tune of 40 per cent under the scheme for investment promotion for Make in India till December 2015 reflects lack of imagination and preparation of blueprint to promote India as an investment destination. (Reuters)

A Parliamentary panel has pulled up the government for curtailing the expenses for crucial projects while funding initiatives like ‘Make in India’.

“The committee is constrained to observe that allocations to many crucial projects were slashed in the year 2015-16 in view of funding ambitious projects like Make in India initiative,” Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce said in its report.

However, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) could only utilise 40 per cent of the budget estimate for the initiative till December 2015.

The committee “strongly feels that the department should have been pro-active over timely utilisation of the funds available in the most effective manner”, it said.

It also said that an expenditure to the tune of 40 per cent under the scheme for investment promotion for Make in India till December 2015 reflects lack of imagination and preparation of blueprint to promote India as an investment destination.

Further, the report said that Make in India campaign has devoted Rs 284 crore for expenditure under the minor head advertisement and publicity.

However, the work being done under this allocation is primarily business promotion through investor outreach programmes, it said.

The committee, it said, is of the view that these investor outreach programmes being conducted with the help of Indian Embassies/Missions or with the help of the professional agencies to target investor is separate from advertising and publicity.

“The committee feels that an allocation of Rs 200 crore and more under the head ‘Business Promotion/Investor Outreach Programme’ makes more sense than maintaining it under the head ‘Advertisement and Publicity’,” it added.

On ease of doing business, the report said against a target to integrate 6 central government services, only 3 new central government services could be integrated in 2015-16.

Similarly, against a target to roll-out state government services in the remaining pilot states of Delhi, Haryana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal some headway could be made only in state services of Andhra Pradesh (14 services), Delhi (2 services) and Odisha (14 services).

It expressed concern over the slow progress in pilot project level where 50 services have been targeted for implementation.

“With this pace of implementation, the committee wonders about the time that may go in making the project fully functional with integration of more than 200 services on the e-Biz portal,” it added.

The committee strongly recommends that the pace of the project should be quickened to improve the business and regulatory environment of the country.

On intellectual property rights, the committee notes that though nearly a year has passed since the IPR think tank submitted its final report on the draft National IPR Policy, the department is still non-committal about the timeline for its notification.

“With the government is emphasising on innovation and start-ups, the committee strongly feels the policy should not hang fire,” it said.

An early notification of a national IPR Policy would send right signal to the investors at large about the existence of a stable IPR regime and thus encourage investments within the country as well as from abroad, it added.

It also expressed deep concerns over the huge pendency of patent and trademark registration applications.

As on March 9, as many as 2,37,029 number of patent and 5,44,171 trademark registration applications are pending with the government.

It recommended the department that intensive training and sensitisation programme may be firmed up to improve the quality of examination of applications.

“The unclogging of the pendency and quality examination will add to the robustness of our IPR system,” it added.

Further, the committee expressed disappointment over the pace of implementation of the national manufacturing policy (NMP).

“Proposals for eight of the NIMZs notified have not been sent by the state governments…However, half the decade has passed by and the deliverables under the Policy seem nowhere in sight,” it said.

The committee feels the execution of the scheme at “snail’s pace” for implementing of NMP reflects “serious lack of effort” on the part of the department towards operationalisation of the policy.

The committee further feels that “much is still to be done” to effectively realise the measures like Make in India and Start Up India on ground.

“The committee strongly feels the department should speed up the necessary reforms to bring in improvement in the business environment of the country,” it added.

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