Economy

Govt working on single window clearance to attract local investments, FDIs: Piyush Goyal

V Rishi Kumar Hyderabad | Updated on September 30, 2020

Piyush Goyal, Minister for Commerce and Industry and Railways   -  PTI

Railway freight volumes show that the economy is picking, says Minister

The Government is working to extend single window clearance to a number of sectors to attract investments, both domestic and FDIs, while also seeking to make India a manufacturing hub in areas such as automotives, toys and footwear.

Union Minister for Commerce, Industry and Railways Piyush Goyal said single window clearance will help attract more investments in various sectors which have already been opened up for FDI.

Interacting with industry representatives hosted by FTCCI here, Goyal said: “the Government is trying to remove all barriers for investments in manufacturing in areas such as Defence, coal mining, retail, civil aviation, agriculture and financial services. In addition, a number of measures announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi under the Atmanirbhar Bharat will ensure we overcome the current Covid pandemic-hit situation to a robust economy.”

Referring to the reforms in the agriculture sector, he said the Farm Bills passed by Parliament are watershed and will ensure higher productivity, better price realisation and herald a new future.

The Minister said the Government is working with local bodies and federations to understand their concerns and address their problems, including that of MSMEs.

Railways and freight

Striking a note of positivity and encouraging the industry to adjust its functioning in the Covid pandemic situation, he said the Railways has brought about a number of changes to improve its performance and efficiency. This has resulted in strong volume growth.

Goyal said the freight volume numbers show that the economy is picking up. In September, Railway freight movement was up 15 per cent over September 2019 and the freight movement on September 29, 2020 was up 33 per cent over September 29, 2019.

“While the overall freight movement during April-September was down by about 9 per cent, we expect to make up for this gap in the second half of the current financial year and end the year on a positive note. The 9 per cent gap in freight in H1 works out to about 54 million tonnes,” he explained.

Referring to how the Railways continues to innovate, the Minister said the average speed of freight trains is now twice that of last year. A train that used to take about 6-7 days from Hyderabad to Guwahati now manages to make it in three days, all pointing towards more efficient functioning.

He said the Government measures to open up private sector investments in the Railways and early indications show that there is immense interest in taking part in the sector.

Published on September 30, 2020

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