FICCI shares industry's view on economy with Symbiosis students
The Indian economy needs to grow at 10 per cent plus to alleviate the twin challenges of under-employment and unemployment. This clear message was given by Sidharth Birla, Past President, FICCI and Chairman, Xpro India on February 21, 2017 in New Delhi while addressing a group of postgraduate students from Symbiosis School of International Studies (SSIS), Pune. The group, which was on a study tour to Delhi, consisted of students from diverse academic backgrounds and nationalities. A session with FICCI was, according to Ambassador Talmiz Ahmad, Former Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Oman and UAE and Distinguished Faculty at SSIS, essential to comprehend the industry perspective on the economy front.
Sidharth Birla, a veteran industry player, emphasized on some fundamental concerns impeding the growth of the Indian economy, namely sustainability of agriculture sector - the largest employment generating industry, sustenance of livelihood in India's informal sector, mitigation of underemployment besides unemployment and the need for adequate investment generation in line with the consumption pattern - lately reduced on account of demonetization. It is well known that the agriculture sector is India's largest private industry and the highest employment generating segment of the Indian market. Similarly, the informal sector is India's largest support system and should be preserved in the larger interest of the economy. India is also blessed with a higher inverse dependency ratio and therefore there is an inherent need to tap the potential of the growing working age population to reap a sizeable demographic dividend. Birla categorically recommended to the students to refer to the latest Economic Survey of India for the year 2017-18 that underlines the national priorities of the country.
On the global front, India has been able to enhance the engagement with the world at large in the background of its expansionary policies and liberalisation initiatives. Ambassador Ahmad narrated instances of foreign investments flowing in India's equity market from Abu Dhabi, reinforcing global investor confidence in the economy. While the Indian economy has been able to sustain the global uncertainties from time to time in the background of its strong macroeconomic fundamentals, the students were cautioned against the emerging risks of fluctuating global oil prices, capital outflows from India and rising infrastructure costs that is hindering the domestic industrial growth. Ultimately, India's global engagement defines its domestic pattern of development.
Therein lies the need for a coordinated approach among all relevant stakeholders from the government, industry and academia. Applauding FICCI's initiatives as the largest industry voice for policy change in India, Birla highlighted FICCI's work on thought leadership, membership engagement and policy advocacy that strengthen synergies among the stakeholders. Ultimately, India's growth and development lies in spearheading coordinated initiatives domestically and globally. The proactive role played by the Indian industry dates back since the pre-independence period of 1940s when a policy document titled 'Plan for Economic Development of India' or the Bombay Plan - a brainchild of eight leading Indian industrialists, was soon deciding the course of the Indian economy. Birla concluded the interactive session by expressing confidence in the government and industry's continuous engagement in alleviating India's economic challenges.
Breefing session of Post Graduate students from SSIS.