Restoration of in­vestor con­fi­dence & es­tab­lish­ment of 'Brand In­dia' are ma­jor achieve­ments of gov­ern­ment in its first year

FICCI Business Digest - - Contents -

Pre­sent­ing a re­port card on the com­ple­tion of one year of the new gov­ern­ment at the Cen­tre, Dr. Jy­ot­sna Suri, Pres­i­dent of FICCI, told me­dia per­sons in New Delhi on May 25, 2015, “The main achieve­ment of the gov­ern­ment in the past year is the cre­ation of a pos­i­tive busi­ness sen­ti­ment, restoration of in­vestor con­fi­dence and es­tab­lish­ment of 'Brand In­dia', by fram­ing poli­cies that rest on trans­parency and fair­ness.”

Be­sides Dr. Suri, the press con­fer­ence was ad­dressed by Sid­harth Birla, Im­me­di­ate Past Pres­i­dent, FICCI; R V Kano­ria, Past Pres­i­dent, FICCI; Naina Lal Kid­wai, Past Pres­i­dent, FICCI; Ra­jan Bharti Mit­tal, Past Pres­i­dent, FICCI and Sanjay Bha­tia, Se­nior Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee Mem­ber and Pres­i­dent, FICCI-CMSME.

The Cham­ber sought to si­lence the crit­ics of the Modi Gov­ern­ment who are tout­ing its pro-in­vest­ment, pro-growth and pro-em­ploy­ment poli­cies as 'proin­dus­try' as if busi­ness-friendly poli­cies are against the com­mon man and na­tional in­ter­est. Terming the gov­ern­ment's proin­dus­try la­bel as “pure rhetoric”, Dr. Suri said that with­out growth, it would be im­pos­si­ble to pro­vide jobs to the 23 mil­lion young peo­ple who de­scend in the job mar­ket ev­ery month. The slow­ing down of ru­ral and ur­ban de­mand was a cause for con­cern, she said that gov­ern­ment spend­ing on in­fras­truc­ture projects must rise sig­nif­i­cantly to fuel the in­dus­trial econ­omy.

Dr. Suri said that no gov­ern­ment at the Cen­tre has worked so hard in one year to re­verse the spiral of neg­a­tiv­ity and brought in poli­cies that will spur de­mand and growth in the very near fu­ture. FICCI, how­ever, be­lieves that the gov­ern­ment should now fo­cus on rais­ing farm pro­duc­tiv­ity and

for­mu­late a wa­ter pol­icy that en­sures ef­fi­cient and fair dis­tri­bu­tion of wa­ter for agri­cul­ture, in­dus­trial and do­mes­tic con­sump­tion.

On the ques­tion of Non­Per­form­ing As­sets (NPAs) in the in­fras­truc­ture sec­tor, FICCI said that in­fras­truc­ture-re­lated com­pa­nies are over lever­aged and would be un­fair to bun­dle such projects which have ac­cu­mu­lated NPAs due to fraud and other cor­po­rate mal­prac­tices. There is a need to sort out reg­u­la­tory is­sues and un­less that is done credit off take will not pick up.

On the tourism front, the gov­ern­ment's e-visa ini­tia­tive has seen huge up­surge in de­mand, said Dr. Suri and added that 'Incredible In­dia' needs to be re­vis­ited to build­ing tourism­re­lated in­fras­truc­ture to meet the needs of in­bound trav­el­ers.

FICCI is en­cour­aged by the pol­icy di­rec­tion and tone set by the new gov­ern­ment. While the gov­ern­ment has laid a strong foundation for sus­tain­able higher growth by lay­ing out a sound roadmap, im­ple­ment­ing the same in true spirit re­mains the key chal­lenge. Pri­vate in­vest­ments need a fur­ther push to gain mo­men­tum, which can be achieved through timely im­ple­men­ta­tion of GST, clear­ance of land re­lated hur­dles, ab­so­lute clar­ity in tax poli­cies, re­duc­tion in in­ter­est rates and stim­u­lat­ing con­sumer de­mand. We are hope­ful that the gov­ern­ment will fo­cus on ac­com­plish­ing the workin-progress agenda through con­tin­u­ous pol­icy ac­tion and re­forms.

Dr. Suri em­pha­sised that sev­eral re­form mea­sures have been ini­ti­ated by the gov­ern­ment and this year's Union Bud­get has set a highly pro­gres­sive agenda to un­leash In­dia's eco­nomic po­ten­tial. Pol­icy mea­sures have been taken up across a wide spec­trum in­clud­ing in­fras­truc­ture, labour, land, en­ergy, skill de­vel­op­ment, agri­cul­ture, financial in­clu­sion as well as so­cial is­sues like san­i­ta­tion. At the same time, gov­ern­ment is mak­ing ef­forts to cre­ate a con­ducive busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment based on a sim­pli­fied, trans­par­ent and com­pet­i­tive tax regime. Fur­ther, the reg­u­la­tory struc­ture is be­ing re­vamped to bring ef­fi­ciency and trans­parency in de­ci­sion mak­ing and to build the trust and con­fi­dence amongst in­vestors.

She said that a slew of leg­isla­tive and ex­ec­u­tive ac­tions have been un­der­taken to cre­ate an en­abling en­vi­ron­ment for growth of en­ter­prises. Along­side amend­ments to three ma­jor labour laws, the gov­ern­ment has ini­ti­ated steps for bring­ing trans­parency and ac­count­abil­ity in com­pli­ances of labour laws. With amend­ments to the Coal and the Mines & Min­er­als Act, the gov­ern­ment has paved way for an era of com­pe­ti­tion, ef­fi­ciency and trans­parency for key nat­u­ral resources by fos­ter­ing fair play through mar­ket forces. The gov­ern­ment has also taken steps to ease dif­fi­cul­ties in land ac­qui­si­tion and though the is­sue is still be­ing de­bated in the Par­lia­ment, we hope that a prag­matic so­lu­tion will soon fol­low.

Dr. Jy­ot­sna Suri, Pres­i­dent of FICCI (2nd from left) seen with the Past Pres­i­dents of FICCI (L to R): Naina Lal Kid­wai; Sid­harth Birla and Ra­jan Bharti Mit­tal.

L to R: Dr. Arbind Prasad, Di­rec­tor Gen­eral, FICCI; Sanjay Bha­tia, Se­nior Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee Mem­ber and Pres­i­dent, FICCI-CMSME and R V Kano­ria, Past Pres­i­dent, FICCI.

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