Industry draws wish list for Modi
May 19 2014 , New Delhi
As a full-fledged budget is a ripe opportunity to spell out key policies, Ficci president Sidharth Birla hoped to see measures on mitigating inflation and restoring confidence, besides roadmaps for job creation and national competitiveness.
Expecting “mission mode actions and bold decisions for tangible outcomes over 6-24 months,” Ficci came out with a 40-page agenda to boost manufacturing, remove infrastructure bottlenecks, clean up the tax system, including implementation of DTC and GST, revisit subsidies and revamp rural employment programme to put the fiscal house in order.
The Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) was not far behind, as a council of top 70 industrialists met on Monday under its president Ajay Shriram to demand “hard and unpalatable” decisions from the Modi government to fix the economy, now beset with complex problems.
CII president said “the focus should be on promoting investment, reviving manufacturing, containing inflation, boosting exports, fiscal consolidation, easing of doing business, promoting savings, financing growth and attention to implementation.”
Ficci’s 40-page ‘Enabling India’ document said there should be regular communication between the prime minister and the industry in addition to creation of a food inflation response and a strategy team under the PMO. The road map should be to get back to 8 per cent GDP growth by 2017 and 10 per cent by 2020.
It also felt that there should be strong centre-state linkages and greater decentralisation for development.
Ficci assured the government of its untiring efforts and participation in developing positive policies leading to job creation and growth across regions and sectors, particularly in manufacturing.
CII said it would be firmly with the government in tackling difficult issues through hard decisions. A huge thrust area should be implementation, since that yields results, which are most visible. Then there are irritants like the land acquisition Act and the new companies Act, which need comprehensive overhaul to make them practical, it said.
Assocham wanted inflation to be monitored on a real-time basis by the new government. The apex chamber’s president Rana Kapoor said Modi and his team should hit the ground running after assuming office and for starters, aim to tame inflation decisively by monitoring the CPI-WPI data the way Sensex is monitored so that the debate of growth versus inflation is settled once and for all. Interest rates would then surely drop significantly.
Assocham said the industry expected the incoming government to focus on financial discipline and first-rate governance, efficiency in terms of reaching out to both citizens and industry.
The industry body said it was time the industry and economists realised that good economic reforms must also be people-friendly so that they command solid political support. “No amount of debate on reforms will work as long as they are politically not viable and saleable to the common people. People understand word of the mouth and we in the Indian industry would like to assure the NDA government that our objective is common — make the life of average Indian far better.”