PM Woos Japanese Businesses, Cites Latest Growth Figures in India

Ajay Kaul/Tokyo
PM Woos Japanese Businesses, Cites Latest Growth Figures in India
File: PTI Photo
PM Woos Japanese Businesses, Cites Latest Growth Figures in India

Wooing Japanese investors with promise of speedy clearances, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today proposed co-opting two Japanese nominees in a decision-making team under PMO dedicated to facilitate investments.

The Prime Minister also declared that legislative changes will be brought forward to give effect to "bold" decisions taken by his government to allow 100 per cent FDI in railways and raising the FDI cap in defence and insurance sectors.

Accompanied by a high-level business delegation from India, he assured the Japanese businessmen and investors of policy-driven decisions to eliminate delays and invited investment especially in infrastructure and clean energy.

Addressing told top business leaders of Japan and India at luncheon hosted by Nippon Kiedanren, the Japanese Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Japan-India Business Cooperation Committee here, he said 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. It will be dedicated to this. 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," Modi said. 

"The results of initiatives taken in the first 100 days of my government are clearly visible," Modi 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. The results of these decisions will be visible soon, he said.

"We will bring forward legislative changes to give effect to these decisions," he said.

Claiming economic turnaround in 100 days in office, Modi wooed Japanese businesses, citing 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.

"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.

Apparently critical of the 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.

Modi, who has enjoyed immense reputation in Japan as Chief Minister relating to Gujarat'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 dispute over South China Sea and East China Sea with some neighbouring countries, including Japan.

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.

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