Meeting with Mr. N. Muruganandam IAS, Principal Secretary to Government, Industries Department, Government of Tamil Nadu

On June 3rd, AMCHAM’s Tamil Nadu Chapter orgazined a meeting with Mr. N. Muruganandam IAS, Principal Secretary to Government, Industries Department, Government of Tamil Nadu. Ms Ranjana Khanna, Director General CEO, AMCHAM India, welcomed participants to the virtual interaction which was followed by Mr. Ramkumar Ramamoorthy, National Executive Board Member, AMCHAM and Chairman and Managing Director, Cognizant India, who provided a summary of the success of U.S. corporations in the state. He quoted the examples of Ford Motor Company, Caterpillar and the many other companies engaged in business process operations such as Accenture, Bank of NY Mellon, the World Bank, Bank of America and others. He mentioned that they began their manufacturing operations in the state as the eco system developed; they felt it would be good to co-locate the other business operations in the state such as information technology, R&D, finance, HR, etc. This led to many other companies following the same trail.

 

Mr. N. Muruganandam, Secretary to Government, Industries Department, began his address by thanking AMCHAM for giving him an opportunity to showcase Tamil Nadu’s strengths. He highlighted that the state of Tamil Nadu has a strategic location and climate conducive to year-round port operations with three modern ports and 16 minor ports; two of these — Chennai and Thoothukudi have container handling facilities. He said that the state was well connected with airports, an extensive road and rail network, besides modern telecommunications infrastructure.

 

He emphasized that Tamil Nadu had the third largest economy among the Indian states. Currently, the state’s official gross domestic product (GDP) exceeds US$ 23 billion; the average growth rate in Tamil Nadu has remained around 6-7%, which is much higher than the average growth rate of Indian states. The state was home to more than 100 industrial parks, including developed land, for those who want to start a new business. Unlike many other states in India, where all economic resources are concentrated in one or two regions, Tamil Nadu’s economic resources were well distributed across the state. Tamil Nadu has a high per capita income and is one of the most stable and urbanized regions in the country. It is India’s second largest software exporter, in terms of value. The state has the potential to become a preferred international destination for investments and manufacturing. Through a combination of talent, technology and incentives, the state has all the ingredients to achieve its global ambitions of delivering world class products and services. Tamil Nadu’s growth is driven by the automotive, automotive components, textile, manufacturing, defense and aerospace, biotechnology, health, energy, pharmaceutical, animation and the visual effects industries, as well as other areas of IT.

 

He said that the government offered a slew of attractive incentives to investors. The Secretary mentioned that the Chief Minister was very keen to get more investments into the state and that the government had recently signed an MOU with 2 U.S. firms, one of whom is establishing a large data center in the city. He also mentioned that the Chief Minister had written to six of the large aircraft manufacturing companies requesting them to explore the opportunities in the state.

 

Mr. N. Muruganandam said that the Business Facilitation Act provided:

• an online single window clearances in a time bound manner
• online tracking of approvals
• deemed approvals for clearances upon reaching the given timelines
• Prompt grievance redressal mechanism
• State level committee for large industries and district level committee for SME’s
• Pre-establishment clearances, pre operational clearances, renewals and incentives

 

The presentation concluded with an interesting Q&A session moderated by Ms. Ranjana Khanna which covered a range of topics such as free movement from Karnataka to Tamil Nadu, electricity during work from home mode and how the single window clearance would consider applications from new as well as existing companies in the state, among others. In his concluding remarks, Mr. Ramkumar said that many companies would like to use the space in SEZ’s to make for the domestic market, to which the Secretary said that this would be taken up with the Ministry of Commerce as it was a good suggestion.