AIMA 42nd National Management Convention

30 September 2015, New Delhi

90% of the problems of highway projects are resolved: Nitin Gadkari

5 lakh jobs to be created by the highway greening policy

Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways, says that 90% of the problems of India’s highway projects have been resolved and the remaining issues will be sorted out soon. He was speaking at the National Management Convention of All India Management Association (AIMA).

“There were 283 stuck projects with investment of Rs 3.80 lakh crore but now 90% of the problems are solved,” he said. He informed that 41 projects had been terminated and the fate of the remaining 10 odd projects will be decided within a month.

Gadkari said that 90% of the problems were because of the government and not the contractors. “The environment and finance ministries did not clear the files. Land acquisition was a problem,” he explained.

In a new policy decision, the government has allocated 1% of the project cost to greening of the highways, which will come to about Rs 5,000 crore during the next five years, the minister said. “The policy includes involving all kinds of social organizations with expertise in tree plantation and this policy will create 500,000 jobs in the rural areas,” he said.

Gadkari said that the bureaucracy was slowing down decision making in the government. “The idea of time does not exist in the government. Many people at high posts in the government argue that not taking decisions is good policy,” he said. “Most people in the government are good at playing football with problems. It is an issue with the bureaucratic system…Strong political will is the basis of success,” he said.

Atul Chaturvedi, Joint Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, told the convention that 100% FDI was now allowed in Defence manufacturing in the area of “state-of-the-art technologies”. He said that the Make in India programme had achieved significant success as India had climbed 16 places in the latest Global Competitiveness Ranking issued by the World Economic Forum. He pointed out that India had become the largest recipient of FDI in the world since the launch of the Make in India programme.

TV Narendran, Managing Director, Tata Steel for India and South East Asia, expressed delight at the government making a splash about Indian manufacturing. However, he argued that India needed to align the opening up of trade with the encouragement for domestic manufacturing. He pointed out that India’s auto industry had come about because of the duties on imports. “India needs to translate its attractive market into investment attraction…Opening up markets faster than opening up domestic manufacturing will encourage investors to make elsewhere for India,” he said.

Narendran urged the government to focus as much on the cost of doing business in India as on the ease of doing business in India. “There are costs that only the government can control, such as the cost of infrastructure deficit and the time taken by the government in decision making,” he said. He informed that Tata Steel had invested Rs 40,000 crore in India during the past five years and will continue to invest Rs 5,000 crore annually for the next five years.

Kamal Bali, Managing Director, Volvo India informed the convention that now Volvo buses made in Bangalore will run on European roads. He said that Indian manufacturing sector was aiming to contribute 25% of the GDP by 2022, up from about 16% now. However, that will require Indian manufacturing sector to grow at 14% every year compared to less than 7% at present, he said.

“Government must give sops to the manufacturing sector to create a critical mass for Make in India, just as it did for creating India’s IT sector,” Bali said. He argued that at present making in India attracted a penalty as the excise paid by manufacturers was higher than the custom paid by importers.

H M Nerurkar, President, AIMA argued that Indian economy was on its own given the problems with the global trade. He pointed out that South Korea’s exports had fallen 15% and China’s 5% and India could not bank on global markets to grow. “If India could clear the path for the stuck projects, its economy could grow at double digit rates,” he said. He commended the government for raising investors’ confidence and for investing in building the growth capacity of the economy.

Delegations from China and Pakistan participated in the National Management Convention, which also had delegates from St Gallen University and Horasis of Switzerland.

The two-day National Management Convention is deliberating on leadership in times of high expectations.

All India Management Association (AIMA) is the national apex body for management in India. Over the last five decades, AIMA has contributed immensely to the enhancement of management capability in the country.

AIMA has a broad base of 62 Local Management Associations including two cooperating LMAs abroad, with a membership crossing 30,000 in number. AIMA is a non-lobbying organisation, working closely with Industry, Government, Academia and students to further the cause of the management profession in India. AIMA is represented on the Boards of India's premier Business Institutions like Indian Institute of Management – IIMs. AIMA is also represented on Boards of Government bodies including the All India Council for Technical Education, National Board of Accreditation, National Productivity Council to name a few.

AIMA makes a salutary contribution to management learning and practice in the country by offering various services in the areas of testing, distance education, research, publications and management development programmes.

AIMA brings to the Indian managers, the best management practices and techniques through numerous foreign collaborations with professional bodies and institutions. AIMA is a member of the Asian Association of Management Organisations (AAMO) and works closely with several international management institutions like Robert H Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, St Gallen Foundation etc. in organising international conferences and management development programmes. To know more, please log on to www.aima.in