By Alain Spohr
The Covid-19 pandemic made 2020 a challenging year by disrupting everything. It triggered a nationwide lockdown which displaced labour, disrupted supply chains and stunted domestic manufacturing.
All this significantly impacted economic activity, but the government quickly launched effective measures to salvage India from the lows of 2020 at a remarkable pace. Businesses have adapted to the new normal, become resilient and agile for long-term survival.
The Government launched the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ (Mission Self-Reliant India) to nurture and build autonomous and sustainable sourcing and supply chain capabilities, which has been welcomed by all.
Several other initiatives to boost infrastructure development, such as the National Infrastructure Pipeline, roll-out of Private Trains and Regional Rapid Transit Systems are likely to boost private participation and create more avenues for collaboration in the future.
With the upcoming Budget 2021, we request the Finance Minister to continue with ease of doing business reforms. A crucial prerequisite to spur growth will be transparent, predictable, and competitive public policies.
With particular focus on fair and efficient support during project execution. Addressing challenges in project execution such as, timely payments, efficient, fast and fair solving of execution related issues, and most importantly ensuring compliance of all players with localization requirements.
We also urge the government to ensure a level-playing field between original domestic companies and foreign companies who have demonstrated genuine and sincere efforts to develop domestic capacities and capabilities, through significant industrial investments and robust transfer of technologies.
In order improve competitiveness, while attracting to the Country investments in technology and innovation in a sustainable way and protecting the basics of Government Procurement policies.
This will further be imperative to improve competitiveness while attracting towards the country’s investments in technology and innovation, in a sustainable way and protecting the basics of Government Procurement policies.
The Government has clearly demonstrated its intent to push forward with structural reforms to enhance domestic manufacturing. The recently announced PLI schemes for Champion Sectors are a step in the right direction and can unlock potential to turn India into a manufacturing powerhouse.
In line with these efforts, Government should consider Railways as a Champion Sector and devise targeted recovery plans which can further incentivise foreign investments and provide a fillip to the Make-in-India initiative.
Moreover, export incentives as part of the new Foreign Trade Policy can also help India integrate with global supply chains and leverage its competitive advantage.
Alstom is fully aligned with the government’s push towards ‘Self-Reliance’ through ‘Make-in-India Policy’ and has achieved around 80% localization for all our domestic projects.
We have invested significantly to build domestic capabilities and are fully committed to partner with the government in its efforts to transform India’s freight and passenger transportation sector.
(The author is Managing Director, Alstom India & South Asia)