Budget 2017: NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant hails decision to scrap obsolete FIPB

NITI Aayog chief executive Amitabh Kant on Thursday evening hailed the government’s decision to do away with the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), stating that it had outlived its utility.

"FIPB has outlived its utility today, as 93.8 percent of the total foreign direct investment (FDI) comes through the direct route. Except in the defence sector, the remaining six percent should also come through the automatic route," said Kant, during a panel discussion at Budget 2017: The Verdict, organised by CNBC-TV18-Mint at Hyatt Regency in New Delhi.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

While presenting the Union Budget on 1 February, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced that FIPB would be abolished and the framework for a replacement would be rolled out soon.

Praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 'Make in India' campaign, Kant said that the initiative has led to the opening up of Indian economy in a big way.

"Thanks to 'Make in India', India’s FDI has grown by 60 percent in the last two-and-a-half years, especially at a time when globally, FDI has witnessed a decline. India needs to be far more competitive and the government must ensure that India’s indigenous automobile products and leather goods should enter global markets in a big way," he asserted during a discussion session of the NITI Aayog panel.

While speaking on privatisation, NITI Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya announced that the Cabinet has approved disinvestment of 17 enterprises. "The ball is now in the court of the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management to move on," he added.

The other panelist, FRBM Review Committee chairman NK Singh laid strong emphasis on recapitalisation of banks.

Amitabh Kant’s prescription to boost tourism

Speaking on ‘Incredible India’, an international marketing campaign by the government to promote tourism in India, Kant, who had officially branded and promoted it as joint secretary, Tourism in 2002, said India has great tourism and heritage destinations but at ground level, the infrastructure — whether railway stations, airports, public amenities, etc—is poor.

- Top class infrastructure.
- Top tourist guides.
- Great packaging.
- Government needs to strongly promote and market heritage sites.

Goals for 2017, as laid out by members of the NITI Aayog panel

Amitabh Kant: Give push to disinvestment and privatisation in a much bigger way, and recapitalisation of banks.

NK Singh: Restoring the health of banking sector in a big way.

Arvind Panagariya: Employment-generation.

Updated Date: Feb 03, 2017 10:51 AM

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