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Panels set up on trade, investment reforms
BS Economy Bureau in New Delhi |
April 03, 2003 12:16 IST
The government has set up four empowered sub-committees to facilitate trade, governance and investment.
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had announced the setting up of these panels after the National Development Council meeting on December 21, 2002.
While the committee on removal of barriers to internal trade will be headed by the Prime Minister, the panel on governance reforms, with special reference to e-governance, will be headed by Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani.
The committees will include Cabinet ministers as well as chief ministers. Since several issues would require the co-operation of states, their implementation should be facilitated by including representatives from states, said Planning Commission Deputy Chairman K C Pant.
While there is no time-frame for finalising or implementing the recommendations, the committees will meet at least once every quarter.
The committee on barriers to trade will look into the repeal of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, and its replacement by the emergency Act.
It will also identify and remove the barriers to inter-state and intra-state movement of commercial vehicles, including those arising from municipal jurisdictions.
"Removal of these barriers to trade will increase efficiency and decrease costs. It will enable the country to develop as a single economic space," said Pant.
Since several states would be associated in the exercise and their concerns would be addressed, there was unlikely to be any implementation problem, he added.
Apart from identifying and removing fiscal and other barriers to the free movement of goods and services, the group will focus on the removal of control orders inhibiting trade in agriculture and retailing.
The sub-committee on governance will conceptualise strategies to reform the revenue administration, encourage public-private partnerships and implement judicial and urban sector reforms.
It will also suggest a framework for linking the flow of funds and central assistance to the implementation of mutually agreed governance reforms.
The committee set up to promote an investor-friendly climate will identify the controls and procedures that discourage investment, provide a timebound action plan to dismantle such barriers, simplify the interface between investors and regulatory agencies and lay down major milestones.
It will be required to evolve a comprehensive framework of policies, procedures and regulations to facilitate investment, including measures to incentivise states.