On July 23, USISPF hosted a roundtable with Dr. Guruprasad Mohapatra, Secretary of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Industrial Trade (DPIIT). In discussion with USISPF members, Secretary Mohapatra shared insight and updates on the ongoing work of the DPIIT to improve ease of doing business in India.
In his opening statements, Secretary Mohapatra discussed the challenges and opportunities presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused companies to rethink their strategic plans, accelerated the adoption of digital technologies, and highlighted the need to diversify supply chains by demonstrating the risks of overreliance on a single geography for sourcing essential inputs. He also discussed recent efforts by the Government of India to attract investment, including the establishment of Empowered Groups of Secretaries and project development cells to assist investors in specific sectors, the March stimulus package, and reforms.
Finally, Secretary Mohapatra discussed India’s success in accelerating the domestic production of goods such as personal protective equipment (PPEs), N95 masks, and ventilators, which were necessary to the country’s COVID-19 response. Before March 2020, no PPEs or N95 masks were manufactured in India, and demand for ventilators far outstripped the in-country production capabilities. As of July, Indian manufacturers are not only producing enough PPEs, masks, and ventilators to meet domestic demand but exporting them.
Representatives from USISPF member companies – industry leaders from many sectors, including technology, energy, aerospace, logistics, and more – had the opportunity to highlight or recommend policies beneficial to their sector, or raise concerns about challenges that the DPIIT could help to address.