New Delhi: The Union government on Tuesday blamed state governments for not providing an investor-friendly environment to private companies such as ITC Ltd and Bharti Enterprises.
“The government has framed a clear roadmap to boost private investment and strengthen rural areas, but unfortunately some state governments have not been very supportive in providing investor-friendly environment to private companies like ITC and Bharti Enterprises,” minister of state for food processing industries Subodh Kant Sahai said at a Rural Development Summit here.
Mentioning pressing issues such as amendment to the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee Art (APMC Act) and contract farming, he said: “States are not really been able to understand and implement them. We are in the process of convincing and it will take some time to finalise”.
However, he urged the private companies to increase their investment in rural India, especially in post-harvest management facilities to take forward the agricultural growth to the next level.
“Investment in post-harvesting operations is the real unlocking of growth potential of rural India. Private companies should invest more in these areas...,” he said.
Shubhashis Gangopadhyay, adviser to the finance minister, said, “The initiatives taken by private sector in rural areas so far in the country are meagre. They need to step up their investment not only in employment generation but in income generation.”
“Private sector has the potential to transform rural areas into business hubs. What government can give you (private firms) at most is infrastructure facilities besides giving simple sops to encourage investment,” Gangopadhyay said.
On a similar line, Anil Sinha of South Asia International Finance Corporation (IFC) noted, “Some of the private initiatives have not reached a scale to have big impact in the country. The thrust should be given to increase employment and purchasing power of rural people.”
Bangladesh caretaker government’s adviser on commerce and education, Hossain Sillur Rahman, said both the public and private sectors should recognise the entrepreneurial talent of rural people and fit them to achieve Millennium Developmental Goals.
Noting the investment hurdles that private companies face in states, Rakesh Bharti Mittal, Bharti Enterprises vice- chairman and chairman of CII’s National Horticulture Committee, urged the government to bring land regulation in the country.
“Private companies are able to see the potential areas in rural India, but there are some hurdles that we face with state governments. Sometimes, it is difficult to reason with them...,” Mittal said.