Published On: Sat, Feb 21st, 2015

From now industry will see things happening on the ground: Nirmala Sitharaman

t2015022062553New Delhi: With the Government working on various planks like bringing in self-regulation, transparency and promoting trust between various stakeholders, the industry will soon see things working on the ground, Commerce and Industry Minister, Ms Nirmala Sitharaman said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi today.

“I am sure from now you will probably see a lot of things happening on the ground, if it is happening on the ground, you are the ones who are going to be able to speak about it first,” said Ms Sitharaman while inaugurating ASSOCHAM 7th Global CSR Summit.

“We hope at least now in the forthcoming session with co-operation from the opposition because it is the economy which needs it, it is not for crediting the NDA government, it is more the economy which has been waiting in the wings to bloom in the last ten years which has not happened and therefore to see it on the ground you need the rules to change, self-regulation, trust between stakeholders and the government which is willing to be a facilitator rather than a regulator and above all you need the laws, we are working on all these planks and being transparent about it and in fact involving all stakeholders together to engage with us,” said Ms Sitharaman.

“If regulations are removed, trust is built and if self-regulation can be brought about than we are on course for a cleaner, transparent and open system, we are on that route,” said the Minister.

“We are moving ahead not just verbally but we are trying to show it to you i.e. from services. integration of services, whether it is RBI, Corporate Affairs Ministry, Commerce, Agriculture, we are bringing all those who are absolutely important for giving industries that access, permission which is required more from a government which wants to be a facilitator rather than a regulator,” added Ms Sitharaman.

She also said that the union government is in a hurry to perform as the Indian Economy has waited for far too long.

“We want to move on different platforms on different routes and on different levels quickly, simultaneously and in a sure footed manner, of course it is going to take a lot of effort, energy and lot of following up till the very logical end but that is exactly where the Government is spending its energy,” said Ms Sitharaman.

“I am sure 10 years’ lethargy cannot be removed in 10 months unless all of us are putting our energies together and I besiege each one of your co-operation in not just the Companies Act but the commitment that this government has made in terms of simplifying taxation, not resorting to retrospective taxation and the open assurance that we are willing to work with the industry to see how best to bring in ease of doing business,” she added.

Talking about the various steps this government has taken so far, she said, “Even as the budget session of the Parliament was happening in 2014, in June at that time since I held the Corporate Affairs portfolio as the Minister of State, the first thing I did was to call upon all the stakeholders to Delhi to come and tell us what is ailing or troubling you as regards to Companies Act.”

Lauding the efforts of the Corporate Affairs Ministry, she said that it had spent a lot of time looking at various complaints which came, the rigours which were explained and by the time she left the Ministry in November, a list of 40 different changes were made between June and November, 2014.

“It is no record of pride but I will say this that no Minister can take credit for changing a particular Act 40 times over but I did that and I had to say and I take in a way a sense of gratification that I could amend 40 but what was the original Act that it required 40 different changes and of course even at that time I had kept my mind open and I’m glad that the FM has gone ahead also to do the necessary amendments to the Act which means going in to the Parliament, explain it and pass it,” said Ms Sitharaman.

“If an Act required that kind of an attention we were willing to give it, we worked on it and we changed it,” she further said.

“I would want to underline here and reassure that this Government is willing to hear, work together and bring the change together with all those who are in the field and the change has to happen in the field, agreed, but it has to happen in a very studied manner,” added Ms Sitharaman.

She also said that the Government is using technology to make things transparent and to make sure that people are not running from one pillar to another post or between ministries physically having to be there to explain what you need to do in order to get the license which otherwise is possible to be obtained through use of technology.

The Minister further said that the Government is not running away from its legislative responsibilities, “We’re in the Parliament arguing every case out to say out why it is important for us to bring out certain regulation, ordinance, Act and the bill is being tabled with an explanation being given as to why it is important, some of which are not even very different from what was presented earlier which went through the Parliamentary Committees and after that it finds itself on the table of the Parliament so we’ve gone through the rigours and post that we are saying that it is important for us to have it passed with all the concerns addressed.”

She also said that government is not making any compromises with any particular community be it the farmer or the industrialist, while relief and rehabilitation are being attended to as well as before or even better.

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