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'Need for innovation & research in reforms and governance'

Press Trust of India  |  Chennai 

There is need for innovation and research & development in state-owned enterprises in order to push reforms and improve governance, Union Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Anand Geete said today.

"I sincerely feel I must emphasise and underline the need for innovation and R&D in SOE when we talk of reforms and governance," he said at a meeting of BRICS Forum on State Owned Enterprises (SOE) Reforms and Governance.

There was a need for SOEs to integrate modern-day innovation and research while accepting reforms, he said.

Quoting from Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Geete said that China had surged ahead in the manufacturing sector for a number of reasons, but the country's focus on research was key to its success, he said.

Further, robotics technology was also developing fast, he said and recalled coming across robots operating machinery at an engine manufacturing plant here during an earlier visit.

Later, speaking to reporters, Geete underlined the NDA government's commitment to increasing employment generation and pointed out that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious Make in India scheme was an effort in this regard.

Memoranda of Understanding to the tune of Rs 3 lakh crore have been signed under the Make in India scheme for heavy industries, he said.

To a question, Geete said that Niti Ayog was conducting a study on sick PSUs in every department and that a decision on such units would be taken after it submitted its report.

On the demonetisation issue, Geete said that the party was with the people and wanted to draw the government's attention towards the hardships faced by them.

"The government is also with the people and is making its efforts, but the party is drawing government's attention towards people's difficulties," he said even as queues continue in banks and ATMs nationwide for exchange of the now defunct Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes as well as cash withdrawal.

"The party (BJP) is not in favour of black money... So is no other party. No party can be in support of black money."

Asked if the demonetisation issue will have an impact in the coming state elections, including in Uttar Pradesh, Geete said "only time will tell that."

To a question, he said the government was not into privatisation, but was only disinvesting stakes in some of its undertakings.

"There is no privatisation. It is disinvestment. The government is disinvesting its stakes in certain percentage. It is not more than five per cent," he said.

To another question, Geete said Tamil Nadu has a conducive atmosphere for investment. "If someone wants to invest in India, it is safe to do so in Tamil Nadu.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, November 18 2016. 19:42 IST