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Ghana clears a project in 03 days, can't we do in 30: Mittal on ease of doing business

Sunday October 29, 2017 10:27 PM, & Agencies

Sunil Mittal

Stating that ease of doing business in India remains a major concern, Sunil Mittal, head of the largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel, rued that it still takes much longer for approval of a simple project in India.

Describing how he was stunned to get approvals for a merger in Ghana in flat 03 days despite the holding companies were based in The Netherlands, Mittal said, "We can't get to 03 days. But can we get to 30, may be 60 days?

"We really need such a framework," Mittal told a panel discussion where Union minister Arun Jaitley, who handles the finance and corporate affairs portfolios, was the chief guest at an ET awards function in Mumbai last night.

As reported by news agency PTI, Mittal cited the case of the merger of a 100 per cent subsidiary with the parent, saying it takes up to five months to get the requisite approvals in India.

He said the government has de-clogged the courts to have the National Company Law Tribunals, a special forum for clearing mergers and acquisitions, but termed the progress on this as "slow" as they are taking "time to stabilise".

As a solution, he suggested having an inter-ministerial panel or a committee that may look into the industry's suggestions and implement them.

"My appeal to the government is to create an inter- ministerial framework, a committee may be, where we can present with logic as to what needs to be changed and you will either reject the logic or buy it. Then government must take a position as quickly as possible," he said.

Commending the government for the Rs 2.11 lakh crore bank recapitalisation plan announced last week, Mittal said the move may help banks, which are sitting on excess liquidity right now due to their "reluctance" to lend because of high bad loans.

He said his company will be doubling investments in the current fiscal, which is over and above the doubled-up investments of the previous year, hinting that it may invest up to Rs 75,000 crore in a three year-period.

"We doubled our investment this year to Rs 20-22,000 core, on top of having doubled capex last year. Over the next three years, our total investment would be around Rs 75,000 crore," Mittal said.



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