Govt must act as enabler to reboot eco: India Inc
‘Country Going Through A Period Of Reset’
(From Left): Uday Shankar, chairman, Star & Disney India; Kalpana Morparia, CEO, South & South East Asia, JP Morgan; David Sproul, global deputy CEO, Deloitte; Nitin Gadkari, Union minister for road transport & highways and MSMEs; Sunil Mittal, chairman, Bharti Enterprises; Nandan Nilekani, non-executive chairman, Infosys; Cyril Shroff, managing partner, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas; and Anu Aga, former chairperson, Thermax New Delhi: India Inc’s top leaders on Wednesday said the government needs to act as a major enabler to reboot the country’s slowing economy.
Lauding the recent major reforms, including corporate tax cuts announced by the government to resuscitate the economy, they made a strong pitch for resolving credit and decision-making gridlocks and saving ‘national treasures’, such as the beleaguered Jet Airways.
“When a Jet Airways goes out of business, it’s just not one company going out of business. It is a vital national aviation structure that has disappeared overnight. Seven or eight telecom companies have completely gone out of business,” said Bharti Enterprises chairman Sunil Mittal.
During a panel discussion at the ET CEO Roundtable on Tackling the Slowdown, the leaders said India is going through a period of ‘reset’,
whether it is adopting GST or going into digital mode as far as currency is concerned.
“There are global headwinds — you look at Europe and other countries. There is a general sign of an economic slowdown. Within India, in the last three to four years, execution has been weak. There has been a general sense of low spending, many projects have been adding inventory. The morale in lending institutions has been low and that needs to kick-start. Enablement will be the first call of action for the execution to start,” Mittal said.
Infosys’s non-executive chairman Nandan Nilekani said the next big thing on the government’s agenda should be to revive credit to small businesses across India. “Only 8% of Indian small businesses get
credit from the banking sector. It is due to public sector banks having high NPAs and NBFCs having asset liability mismatch. If we do a new cycle of credit, we should do it very differently...,” Nilekani said, while referring to digital modes of transactions and applications.
Echoing his views, Kalpana Morparia, CEO, South & South East Asia, JP Morgan, said, “In this new digital world, you will see a paradigm shift in the ways banks function.”
“Competitive tax rates are fundamental in increasing FDI. The recent tax cuts send a signal that the government has listened to feedback. This makes it encouraging to invest in a market such as India,” said David Sproul, global deputy CEO of Deloitte.
Other panelists at the roundtable included, Uday Shankar, chairman of Star & Disney India, Anu Aga, former chairperson of Thermax, and Cyril Shroff, managing partner of law firm Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas.