Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday made a strong case for opening up of the country’s services sectors, including legal, financial and entertainment businesses. Questioning the rationale of global arbitration being done through countries like the UK and the trend of financial services firms investing in India via Singapore and Mauritius, the Prime Minister said that the government is working on creating a conducive mechanism so that the services sector grows in the country.
“Why should we go outside the country for global arbitration? Why should it not happen in our country? Do we have a paucity of lawyers and chartered accountants? The argument that if competition comes there will be job loss is on old way of thinking. We shouldn’t think that if foreign lawyers come here, they will take away our jobs,” Modi said while inaugurating the three-day global exhibition on services organised by the commerce ministry and CII. He added that in the financial sector also the government is looking to frame rules so that the flow of foreign direct investment increases.
Exhorting the industry to map the global needs to grow further, the Prime Minister said that the government is working on strengthening its intellectual property rights (IPR) regime and “if we can convince the world about the robustness of our IPR, there is a huge scope for our creative industry to flourish”.
As such, amid the US putting pressure on India to strengthen its intellectual property regime, the government has already announced that it will come out with a national policy on IPR.
“There is a need for qualitative improvement and value addition in skills of our youth. We should target countries with specific needs and fulfil those needs through our strength in the services sector. We can do this on a PPP mode,” Modi said while adding that it is time for “brain-gain” instead of “brain-drain”.
The government has zeroed in on 10 services including IT, media and entertainment, logistics, healthcare, education, space, research and development, professional services and banking and finance to showcase India’s prowess in the sector.