Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Saturday, Jan 10, 2004
Industry & Economy
Jaitley advocates urban renewal
Mr Arun Jaitley, Union Minister for Law and Justice, with the Chief Minister, Mr N. Chandrababu Naidu, on the last day of the Partnership Summit in Hyderabad on Friday.
Hyderabad , Jan. 9
The Union Minister of Law and Justice, Commerce and Industry, Mr Arun Jaitely, on Friday called for leveraging the potential of the middle class and wanted the country to go for urban renewal by building mega cities.
Addressing the valedictory of the three-day Partnership Summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here, he said the country had to take measures to leverage the mindset change in favour of reforms.
Stating that India has huge potential to become a global knowledge hub, Mr Jaitley said the country would become a quality manpower supplier.
Mr Y.C. Deveshwar, Chairman, ITC exchanging files with Mr Gopalakrishna Reddy, State Minister for Employment Generation and ITES, after signing an MoU at the Summit on Friday. Mr Naidu, Mr Jaitley, Mr Sunil Kant Munjal, Managing Director, Hero Cycles Ltd, and Mr K Satish Reddy, Managing Director, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, are also seen. - A. Roy Chowdhury
"But we do require to further expand quality education. Our greatest asset is services. But we should think of becoming a global manufacturing hub," the Commerce Minister said.
Emphasising on the importance of strengthening the infrastructure sector, he cited two reasons that contributed to attract investments. Safety and security of investments and prospect of getting better return on investment. "Political stability and a democratic system based on rule of law ensure better return on investments," he said.
"The agenda of political parties is gradually changing, with development and economic activity taking the centre stage," he said. "Profit is no longer considered an evil. The essence of economic activity is profits."
He informed that the Government gave the nod for 23 new special economic zones in addition to the eight zones.
Responding to the Andhra Pradesh Minister for Major Industries, Mr K. Vidhyadher Rao, Mr Jaitley felt that there should be a continuity of policy with regard to the zones so as to attract investors.
Referring to exports, he said despite the appreciation of rupee and depreciation of dollar, India did well on exports fronts. "All but two sectors (textiles & garments and marine segment) has recorded satisfactory growth and could meet the targets," he said.
Slamming the $1-billion a day agricultural subsidies in the developed world, he said no other trade in the world was as distorted as agri trade. "This distortion needs to be corrected."
The State Chief Minister, Mr N. Chandrababu Naidu, asked the foreign investors to invest in India. "Your investments are safe here and you would get better returns here."
He said there was a need to bring about reforms in judiciary, administration and labour laws.
Blaming the `poverty of thinking' for sceptical assumptions, he hoped that India could achieve two-digit growth rate and become a developed nation by 2015 and a super power in 2040.
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