President Ram Nath Kovind.
President Ram Nath Kovind.

New policies on industry, retail trade on anvil: President Kovind

  • The reform efforts will be oriented towards bringing social equity
  • A national trade welfare board will be set up

New Delhi: India will bring out new policies on industry and retail trade as part of government’s attempts at reforms to boost the manufacturing sector and to have a competitive retail market, President Ram Nath Kovind said on Thursday.

Kovind, in his address to a joint session of Parliament, also said while the second term of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government goes ahead with its reform efforts and steps up the attack on black money, there will be a “zero tolerance policy" on corruption.

Kovind’s address indicated that reform efforts will be oriented towards bringing social equity and to help the $2.9 trillion economy reach $5 trillion by 2024.

“Work is underway in full earnest to transform India into a global manufacturing hub," Kovind said, adding that the new industrial policy will be announced shortly in view of the revolution taking place in the industry. Efforts are also on to improve India’s position in the World Bank’s ease of doing business ranking to 50 from 77 now. For this, rules will be simplified and the Companies Act will be amended, said the President. He also said both direct and indirect tax systems will be simplified.

“The campaign against black money will be taken forward at a faster pace. During the last two years, 4.25 lakh company directors have been disqualified and the registration of 3.5 lakh suspicious companies revoked," Kovind added.

A national trade welfare board will be set up and a national retail trade policy will be made shortly, he said. The government has already announced a pension scheme for traders and self-employed persons. “Accident insurance of up to 10 lakh will also be provided to all traders registered under GST," said the President. The credit guaranty cover for small businesses will also be enhanced, he said.