Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday his government was ready to change rules and laws to speed up manufacturing under the “Make in India” programme, despite political opposition to reforms.
India passed an emergency executive order earlier in the day to ease land acquisition rules that are partly blamed for delays in industrial projects worth up to $300 billion.
“Need to change laws – we are ready. Need to change rules – we are ready. Need to speed up processes – we are ready,” Modi said at the concluding session of a workshop on Make in India. “We need to implement changes on the ground.”
There has been criticism in recent months that Modi has yet to use his strong electoral mandate to implement reforms needed to pull India out of an economic growth of under five percent for two straight years.
Political opposition and the government’s minority position in the upper house of the parliament have also tied Modi’s hands, forcing him to resort to executive orders to raise foreign participation in insurance ventures and allow private companies mine and sell coal.
The pro-business leader said there was a need to change the government’s culture of “ABCD” – avoid, bypass, confuse and delay – to that of “ROAD” – responsibility, ownership, accountability and discipline.
Bureaucratic delays and red tape are two of the reasons holding back businesses in India. The country slipped to 142 in the World Bank’s latest ‘ease of doing business’ rankings, something that Modi has vowed to correct.