From the Secretary General's Desk…
The 2017-18 Union Budget reflects the Finance Minister’s vision to ensure economic development with economic
justice. It is directionally correct and fiscally prudent aimed at fortifying governance of the nation and providing muscle to the economic strength of the country. Top North Block mandarins, while addressing FICCI’s National Executive Committee Meeting on February 4, 2017, maintained that the Budget was consistent with the policies of Government, is predictable in its approach and is shorn of unnecessary surprises for the industry and society. It is a testimony to Government’s commitment to governance reforms aimed at transforming the economy, energising the people and cleaning the system. The Committee Members were assured that the impact on demonetization on growth would be very transient and that it would not spill over to the next year which would see a growth of 7% plus and the economy would continue to do well thereafter. We carry a report along with FICCI’s view on the Budget proposals as spelt out by President Pankaj Patel in an article in this issue. We also carry highlights of the two knowledge papers - FICCI-KPMG white paper titled ‘Re-engineering the skill ecosystem’ and FICCI-PwC report, ‘Shaping Consumer Trends’. The FICCI-KPMG paper traces country’s growth story by tracking India’s GDP and Gross State Domestic Product along with the evolution of Indian workforce over the years. The paper explores the complexity and diversity of the country in terms of economic development, demography, geography, internal and international migration, unavailability of relevant data etc. The FICCI-PwC report notes that changes to Indian consumer behaviour are being driven by increasing incomes, the younger profile of consumers and growing access to the internet. The report states that the increased use of smartphones, consciousness and concerns about health and the environment, technological innovations and the rising complexity of decision-making due to the proliferation of products and points of sale are key areas of change that will impact consumer and retail businesses. FICCI was privileged to co-host two important conclaves aimed at attracting investment in Gujarat and West Bengal. The Vibrant Gujarat summit in Gandhinagar and the Bengal Global Business Summit in Kolkata were highly successful in showcasing to domestic and foreign investors the economic strides made by these states and generated crores worth of business proposals.
We welcome your feedback and comments on the contents of this issue of the magazine.