PM’s panel on investment mulls ways to revive economy

PM’s panel on investment mulls ways to revive economy

Discussions also included the slowing manufacturing sector, which is coming in the way of progress on the 'Make in India' front.

Representative image. (Photo by Getty images)

The national committee on investment and growth, set up in June this year, held its first meeting on Monday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss ways to lift private investment in the country without which lifting the economy out of its morass appears difficult.

Private investment has slumped to a little over 1% in the September quarter from over 11% in the same quarter last year, the official data showed.

The expectation that the corporate tax cut will re-ignite the cycle of private investment in the country, has not happened yet. Investors are still waiting in the wings for more reforms on the ground, including land and labour. As many as five rate cuts by the Reserve Bank of India this year have also not paid much.

The meeting attended by Home Minister Amit Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Commerce, Industry and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Road and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari discussed the further reforms roadmap that can start investments afresh.

Discussions also included the slowing manufacturing sector, which is coming in the way of progress on the 'Make in India' front.

A series of industrial performance data has been showing that the slump is led by the manufacturing sector, whose contribution to the economy is targeted to be 25% of the GDP by 2022.

Whether the government should go for some customs duty rejig in the Budget to give a boost to local manufacturing is also being discussed.

Items such as aluminium, steel and copper may see some restructuring in duty. Most of the items are being identified for removal of inverted duty structure.

But investors are also of the opinion that fresh investments cannot happen at this juncture because there already is excess capacity in the system.

“A wide discussion on how to pump prime the economy was held. Increasing private investment formed an important part,” an official privy to the development said.

This is the first meeting of the committee, which was set up immediately after Modi 2.0 government came to power.

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