19 May 2017

News Story: Red tape and taxes put brakes on 'Make In India' push


When Saurabh Ahuja tried to import a $600 3D printer for manufacturing drones in his Delhi workshop, he ended up spending another $900 in taxes and bribes and waited three months for it to clear customs.

"We lack in technology and industry to make the smallest things, so we have to import," Ahuja said as he listed the frustrations entrepreneurs still encounter since the government launched its "Make In India" project.

"If my business grows, the country grows with me. But the government won't let me grow."

Since coming to power in 2014, Narendra Modi has been looking to overhaul India's image as an awkward country in which to do business and instead emulate China by becoming a global manufacturing hub.

In September that year, the right-wing premier unveiled "Make in India" as a flagship initiative which would have an "unprecedented overhaul of out-dated processes and policies" at its core.

The government has tried to woo investors by promising to simplify the tax regime and liberalise rules on foreign direct investment (FDI).

But in the World Bank's most recent chart ranking countries for their ease of doing business, India came 130th out of 190.

While much of the focus has been on the travails of foreign firms, local entrepreneurs who should be the poster boys of Indian manufacturing are also struggling.

Read the full story at TerraDaily