During Jyotiraditya’s association with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, his main focus was on reducing the transaction costs for businesses across the country. The team reviewed multiple rules and regulations that needed reworking to ensure that departments remained more service-oriented to the business environment. Through this, 8 streams of business where transaction costs needed to be reduced were identified and timelines and regulations were cut.
The ‘e-biz’ portal is a flagship project of the Ministry, which enables entrepreneurs to receive licences in a time-bound manner or else the permission would be deemed as given. This was an innovative project that cleared the way for vertical implementation of projects with clearances across various levels available on just one platform. The project was designed on a PPP model and has been implemented on a pilot basis in 8 Central Government Departments and 5 States (AP, Haryana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Delhi). It is now due for further expansion.
Jyotiraditya and his team launched a horizontal portal called ‘e-trade’, which assimilates all sectors involved in the export value-added stream, including customs, ports and railways. This aimed to cut down latencies across the value change. Poignantly, it was these UPA reforms that today constitute the foundation of the new Government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.
Due to stagnating export levels and the declining share of Indian tea in the international market, the Department of Commerce instituted a Task Force in March 2010. The aim of this Task Force was to rebrand Indian tea and return it to its past regal stature.
The report identified 5 key markets: Russia, Kazakhstan, Iran, US and Egypt, and suggested 5 major activities: promotion of Indian tea logo; engagement with local trading communities; participation in trade fairs/tea festivals and exchange of business delegations; in-store promotions; and the use of social media channels like blogs and Facebook. These were to be implemented over 5 years, thus referred to as the 5-5-5 strategy. The estimated cost of the project was Rs. 100 crore, which was to be shared between the Government and the industry in a 75:25 ratio.