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Move to hasten notifications

New Delhi, Dec 12: The commerce ministry has decided to come out with a batch of notifications within a week to give effect to a raft of decisions taken by the government prior to March 31 this year, said Arun Shourie who wears two hats as the Union minister of commerce as well as disinvestment.

The delay in the notifications has stalled implementation of decisions taken by the government, severely undermining India's ability to take on competition in a rapidly globalising world, Shourie said.

For instance, the decision to set up a special economic zone (SEZ) was taken in the year 2000 but the final notifications only came out in June this year, a two-year delay that made India a less attractive destination for foreign capital, Shourie said while addressing a special session on India's competitive edge in a post -WTO scenario organised by Ficci.

China, on the other hand, has opened several new SEZs besides the ones in Shenzhen and Guangdong. China takes decisions quickly and implements them rapidly, a trait that foreign investors appreciate. It has already signed an agreement with the Asean to create a larger free trade area by year 2008 while India is still locked in negotiations on a similar pact with the South-East Asian trading bloc, he added.

Shourie said a system where some of the announcements made in this year's exim policy have not been notified by the government even after nine months cannot help industry compete in the international market.

In this connection, Shourie said, “The government was trying to experiment with the idea of a draft notification to enable the industry to circumvent the delay in implementation of policies which have been announced.”

The draft notification would be circulated after consultations with the finance minister. This would enable wider public discourse on issues of importance to industry.

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