Piyush Goyal, Retail News, ET Retail


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NEW DELHI: Trade and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday assured the industry that the government will protect its interests in free trade agreements (FTAs) and that these pacts will be finalized after extensive discussions with all stakeholders.

However, he also urged the domestic industry to become competitive and not seek protection for certain sectors in these agreements.

If the industry thinks it would gain better access to US, UK and Canadian markets without also opening up the Indian market to companies from those countries, “then there is no future for industry, so forget about FTAs ​​and markets, ”he said.

Goyal was speaking at the ICN plenary session on “Synergy between government and business for sustainable growth”.

Citing an example, he said, “If you think I (the industry) can export textiles duty free to Europe and become competitive, but don’t allow any yarn or textile to come to India, don’t open the wine sector for them, do not open auto (sector) … If that is your behavior, then there is no future for the industry, so forget the FTAs ​​and the markets. “

“I can assure you that no FTA will hurt you. Every FTA will be finalized after having discussions with you … In every product, every country cannot be competitive.

“Wherever our strengths are, we have to harness this and in some products we also have to be generous, so only the FTA can be done, if not not. So I will ask for your support and cooperation in this regard.” , Goyal said.

India is negotiating free trade agreements with countries like Australia, Canada and the United Arab Emirates. Under such agreements, two trading partners significantly reduce or eliminate import / customs duties on the maximum number of goods traded between them.

The minister also suggested that the chamber of industry CII could take the initiative to create a fund with a corpus of Rs 10,000 crore to provide seed funding to domestic startups, as foreign companies buy startups from companies. lower rates.

“They should all… Tatas, Ambanis, Bajajs and Birlas, you should all participate. Even if you launch with Rs 100 crore, Rs 200 crore, Rs 500 crore each, the startups in the country will receive huge support …

“Please help create value for our startups, and you will benefit from it as well … even if one in 10 companies is doing well … and I would go so far as to say that if 1 or 2 or 4 or 10 cases… go wrong, as much as you can sacrifice for the country… I apologize if anyone didn’t like my words, ”he said.

He added that the real synergy is that “we should both have equal concerns for our compatriots” and that this is a joint responsibility of government and industry.

Regarding vaccination, the minister urged the industry to procure 25% of Covid-19 vaccines and to vaccinate people.

The industry had made “big statements” about vaccinating employees, their families and villagers around their factories, but “I am waiting to see this synergy and I urge you all to think about the big promises made and to see what more you can do. “

In addition, Goyal said the industry should not look for ways to circumvent government policies such as foreign direct investment standards.

“When I see Tata Sons they oppose some consumer benefit laws or regulations that I am proposing, then frankly it hurts…” he said, adding “me, myself, my business, we have to move this forward. “

He also urged domestic companies to use products made in India, even if they are a bit expensive, and to show some willingness to support MSMEs and pay their dues in a timely manner.

“What is our commitment to India, we need to introspect it,” he said, adding that there was a need to increase synergy between chambers of industry.

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