Skip to main content

No ease in doing business in India: Reliance think-tank expert quotes top German CEOs who were in India

Modi with Merkel at Hanover in Germany: April 2015
By Our Representative
A senior expert, working with the powerful Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL)-run think-tank has said that the top Germans businessmen who had accompanied German Chancellor Angela Merkel to India early this month have outspokenly declared that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done little to “ease” business environment in India.
The expert, Britta Petersen, who works as senior fellow with the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), quotes Wolfram von Fritsch, Chairperson of Deutsche Messe AG.that Modi had raised “huge expectations” with his 'Make in India' campaign earlier this year at the Hannover in Germany, but “half a year down the line it seems that not much has happened to ease business in India".
Ahead of the German chancellor's vist, a survey by the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC) on hindrances of doing business in India in 2015 lists bureaucracy (58 percent), lack of infrastructure (52 percent) and corruption (45 percent) as the main obstacles for companies, followed by tax disputes (32 percent) and lack of skilled people (35 percent), which ORF expert cites to point towards may have gone wrong.
According to the ORF expert Fritsch as also others in the 30-head strong German business delegation, who brought forward their grievances in the meeting that was jointly organised by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), IGCC, and the Asia Pacific Committee of German Business.
Peterson says, Amitabh Kant, secretary for Industrial Policy and Promotion, may think that "the process of growth" in India has just begun, but German CEOs rather seemed to believe “rating agencies such as Fitch, Moody's and recently the Asian Development Bank (ADB) that cut down India's growth forecast to 7.4 percent from 7.8 percent for this year.”
According to the expert, “For them, this is more than a statistic exercise. Many of the German companies that are already present in India, especially the car and machine building industry, pointed out that they already have over-capacities in India built up during the heydays of the UPA government. And they are afraid to get disappointed by the India story for a second time.”
“Slower economic growth worldwide and a less bullish outlook on India led to a slow-down of the annual trade volume between the two countries. Instead of cracking the much awaited 20-billion Euro mark, it is staggering around 16 billion Euro this year”, says the expert.
“This is all the more regrettable since Germany as one of the leading economies worldwide can play a major role in making Modi's 'Make in India' campaign successful. During the last ten years, German companies have invested more than five billion Euro in India, while Indian companies invested four billion in Germany, conversely”, adds the expert.
The expert quotes Hubert Lienhard, Chairman of the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business and CEO of Voith, a family-owned mechanical engineering company to say, "At the moment my own company has 20 percent more capacity than we need in the country. I hope that we will meet again here in one year and all the plans of the Indian government have been transformed into action. Then we will continue to invest."
The expert quotes Wolfram von Fritsch of the Deutsche Messe AG as saying that admits he is “already checking on other countries such as Indonesia because a major project that he had planned near Delhi seems to be going nowhere.”
Others had a similar view: Catharina Claas-Muehlhaeuser, who heads the Board of Directors at Claas, one of the world leading producers of agricultural machines, says, "Without infrastructure we will leapfrog nowhere". Adds Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser, says. "Everywhere in the world you have to develop energy and infrastructure first, then comes industry".
“Siemens has been in India for almost 100 years and Kaeser had travelled to India five times this year because his company wants to sell technology for smart cities on a large scale.”, the expert says, quoting him further as saying, "Making one single project work is better than any talk."

Comments

TRENDING

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

How lead petitioner was rendered homeless when GM mustard matter came up in SC

By Rosamma Thomas*  On January 5, 2023, the Supreme Court stayed a December 20, 2022 direction of the Uttarakhand High Court to the Indian Railways and the district administration of Haldwani to use paramilitary forces to evict thousands of poor families occupying land that belonged to the railways.  Justice AS Oka remarked that it was not right to order the bringing in of paramilitary forces. The SC held that even those who had no rights, but were living there for years, needed to be rehabilitated. On December 21, 2022, just as she was getting ready to celebrate Christmas, researcher Aruna Rodrigues was abruptly evicted from her home in Mhow Cantonment, Madhya Pradesh – no eviction notice was served, and nearly 30 Indian Army soldiers bearing arms were part of the eviction process. What is noteworthy in this case is that the records establishing possession of the house date back to 1892 – the title deed with the name of Dr VP Cardoza, Rodrigues’ great grandfather, is dated November 14

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Tax buoyancy claims when less than 4% Indian dollar millionaires pay income tax

By Prasanna Mohanty  In FY18, the last year for which disaggregated income tax data is available, only 29,002 ITRs declared income above Rs 5 crore, while Credit Suisse said India had 7.25 lakh dollar millionaires (the wealth equivalent of Rs 8 crore and above) that year. Often enough, the Centre claims that demonetization in 2016 raised tax collections, improved tax efficiency, and expanded the tax base. Now RBI Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) member Ashima Goyal has also joined their ranks, attributing the “claims” of rising tax collections in the current fiscal year to “tax buoyancy” brought by the demonetisation . Do such claims have any basis in official records? The answer is unequivocal. The budget documents show the tax-to-GDP ratio (direct plus indirect tax) increased from 10.6% in FY16 (pre-demonetization) to 11.2% in FY17, remained there in FY18 (demonetization and GST fiscals), and then fell to 9.9% in FY20. In FY22, it improved to 10.8% and is estimated to drop to 10.7% in

Cyrus Mistry, PM Modi’s brother: What do these accidents have in common? Merc!

By Rosamma Thomas*  In September 2022, in an accident at Palghar near Mumbai, Cyrus Mistry, former chairman of the Tata Group, died in a road accident . On December 28, 2022, a road accident in Mysore left one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s brothers injured. What is common in these accidents? The car that crashed into the divider on the road, in both these cases, was manufactured by “prestigious” German manufacturer Mercedes Benz. One former dealer of Mercedes Benz cars in India has been raising issues of the threat to the lives of those riding these cars for many years now. Cama Motors, among the oldest dealers of foreign cars, having started business in pre-independence India, noted over 10 years ago that Mercedes Benz was indulging in corrupt practices . The cars are currently priced between Rs 41 lakh and Rs 2.92 crore in India; few people realize that the pride of owning a Merc comes at considerable risk to life. Cama Motors carefully documented several of the flaws on a websi

Gandhian unease at Mahadev Desai book launch: Sabarmati Ashram may lose free space

By Rajiv Shah  A simmering apprehension has gripped the Gandhians who continue to be trustees of the Sabarmati Ashram: the “limited freedom” to express one’s views under the Modi dispensation still available at the place which Mahatma Gandhi made his home from 1917 to 1930 may soon be taken away. Also known as Harijan Ashram, a meeting held for introducing yet-to-be-released book, “Mahadev Desai: Mahatma Gandhi's Frontline Reporter”, saw speaker and after speaker point towards “narrowing space” in Gujarat for Gandhians (as also others) to express themselves. Penned by veteran journalist Nachiketa Desai, grandson of Mahadev Desai, while the book was planned to be released on January 1 and the meeting saw several prominent personalities, including actor-director Nandita Das, her scholar-mother Varsha Das, British House of Lords member Bhikhu Parekh, among others, speak glowingly about the effort put in for bringing out the book, exchanges between speakers suggested it should be rele

Civil rights leaders allege corporate loot of resources, suppression of democratic rights

By Our Representative  Civil rights activists have alleged, quoting top intelligence officers as also multiple international forensic reports, that recent developments with regard to the Bhima Koregaon and the Citizenship Amendment Act-National Register of Citizens (CAA-NRC) cases suggest, there was "no connection between the Elgaar Parishad event and the Bhima Koregaon violence." Activists of the Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) told a media event at the HKS Surjeet Bhawan, New Delhi, that, despite this, several political prisoners continue to be behind bars on being accused under the anti-terror the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Addressed by family members of the political prisoners, academics, as well as social activists, it was highlighted how cases were sought to be fabricated against progressive individuals, democratic activists and intellectuals, who spoke out against "corporate loot of Indian resources, suppression of basic democratic

Kerala natural rubber producers 'squeezed', attend to their plight: Govt of India told

By Rosamma Thomas   Babu Joseph, general secretary of the National Federation of Rubber Producers Societies (NFRPS) at a recent discussion at Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, explained that it is high time the Union government paid greater heed to the troubles plaguing the rubber production sector in India – rubber is a strategic product, important for the military establishment and for industry, since natural rubber is still used in the manufacture of tyres for large vehicles and aeroplanes. Synthetic rubber is now quite widespread, but styrene, which is used in making synthetic rubber and plastics, and also butadiene, another major constituent of synthetic rubber, are both hazardous. Prolonged exposure to these even in recycled rubber can cause neurological damage. Kerala produces the bulk of India’s natural rubber. In 2019-20, Kerala’s share in the national production of rubber was over 74%. Over 20% of the gross cropped area in the state is under rubber cultivation, with total

Bangladesh 'rights violations': US softens stance, fears increased clout of China, India

By Tilottama Rani Charulata*  In December 2021, in addition to the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), the United States imposed sanctions on seven former and current officers of the force, alleging serious human rights violations. Benazir Ahmed and former RAB-7 commander Miftah Uddin Ahmed were banned from entering the US. RAB as an institution was also canceled the support it was getting from the US and its allies. At the same time, those under the ban have been notified of confiscation of assets held abroad. The anti-crime and anti-terrorism unit of the Bangladesh Police, RAB is the elite force consisting of members of the Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Police, Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Air Force, Border Guard Bangladesh, Bangladesh Civil Service and Bangladesh Ansar, and has been criticized by rights groups for its use of extrajudicial killings and is accused of forced disappearances. The government of Bangladesh has been insisting about lifting the ban on RAB, but the US had till recen