India Inc feels doing business in India getting easier but land an issue

As India moves up in the Ease of Doing Business ranking, industrialists on Friday said things are getting “easier” in terms of taking off of projects but procurement of land still remained an “impediment” for large projects.

“Lot of measures have been taken by the government at the centre. Things are looking up and that reflected in the international (investors’) confidence as well. But it takes time for the investments to actually happen.

“Things are moving faster and regulatory processes got reduced. From the trade perspective, things are becoming easier… investments will begin to happen and for the investments to yield employment, you will probably be looking at another 12-14 months,” RP Sanjiv Goenka Group Chairman Sanjiv Goenka said at the India Today Conclave East here.

Citing ITC’s earlier experience, when the FMCG giant wanted to invest in the consumer goods and food processing segment and the multiple problems it had faced with regard to the taking off of projects, the company’s CEO Sanjiv Puri said: “Today, we have a situation, where most of our projects on the pan-India basis are well underway… based on our experience, things are getting easier to do business (in India).”

He also said the environment has been enabling and supportive along with reforms taking place at the policy level.

According to a recent World Bank ranking on ease of doing business, India improved its rank to 100th from 130th.

Speaking on the challenges and obstacles the industries are facing now, Goenka described land issue as one of the constraints for large projects while Puri emphasised to deal with problem of unemployment.

“Several issues have been resolved. The issue on land is impediment so far. For any large projects, it is difficult for industry to go out and procure that land until the government steps in and gives a parcel of land,” Goenka said.

Citing that the land problem was not pronounced in terms of the food processing sector, Puri said: “As far as the food processing sector, this is not that much of an issue. All the challenges that emerged were on account of the large unemployment. Once the issue of livelihood is getting addressed, the environment would become lot more conducive to deal with challenges.”

Responding to a query whether India’s investors are preferring overseas destinations than domestic locations, Goenka said a company, that needs to be multi-locational, always looks for the best location.

“For example, we want to set up several food parks in the country and in the next 18 months, it will be five food parks. We were looking at states and Telangana was the first state of the lot and they just responded at amazing speed. We will start work in first week of January in terms of construction,” he said, adding that it is not to say that other states are not fast.

Puri said ‘Make in India’ is certainly imperative for India as the manufacturing is not what it should be.

“What we need is the manufacturing of an order that maximises societal value and manufacturing that is enduring. It is about livelihoods and sustainability, competitiveness. In this perspective, there is plenty of opportunity.”

Source: Economic Times

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