CII projects GDP growth between 7.75% and 8% in 2016-17, says CII President Dr Naushad Forbes


By K Ashwin Mobile:00919920183006

The Confederation Indian Industry (CII) pegged India’s GDP growth to hover between 7.75% and 8% in 2016-17, according the apex industry body’s President, Dr Naushad Forbes.“With inflation, fiscal deficit, Current Account Deficit (CAD) under control, macro fundamentals strong, and global investors’ sentiments positive, FDI inflows high, interest rates coming down, there is a strong hope for betterment,” Dr Forbes said.

“We expect the agriculture sector to grow at 3% on the news that the monsoons are expected to be normal. Industry and services are expected to growth at the rate of 8.2% and 9.8% respectively,” the CII President said.

As to the risk factors, Dr Forbes explained that revival of external demand is uncertain, exports are still under stress, flow of domestic investments is weak, and corporate performance is flat.

“Externally India has moved in the direction of a free market economy but internally we still have to reform. GST is one major step towards creating a single market and is one of the first measures that the Government has moved on in an aggressive manner,” Dr Forbes said.

“A similar approach like GST needs to be taken up in other areas, in particular, labour and land reforms merit immediate attention, where the States also have a significant say,” the CII President said.

Dr Forbes underscored the need for efforts to build political consensus on the country’s reforms agenda. “States are fully empowered to amend laws related to land and labour with the concurrence on the Central government. Many states including Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat have undertaken Labour Reforms. Similarly, Tamil Nadu has undertaken Land Reforms. Other states should follow,” he said.

The CII President, who also made a strong case for reforms in education, dwelt upon CII’s 6 key areas of focus, which he said form the enablers for building national competitiveness. “These are human development, corporate integrity & good citizenship, ease of doing business, innovation & technical capability, sustainability and global integration,” he said.

The CII President also said that encouraging CII voluntary Code on Business Ethics, Launching the Code on Good Corporate Citizenship and Business Practices that promote equal opportunity are among enablers which at the core of the CII Theme: Building National Competitiveness. The other key enablers are Human Development, Ease of Doing Business, Innovation & Technical Capability, Sustainability and Integration with the World.

He said CII is working on a plan to help famers in West Bengal increase productivity of selected crops and get connected to wider markets.

At a Press Meet held in Kolkata today, Dr Forbes listed the country’s projected growth drivers as well the risk factors and explained the rationales.

Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII, announced that CII will set up a National Start-up Centre – a new model institution for end-to-end incubation of potential entrepreneurs to build future business houses generating large scale employments with a focus on Rural & non-IT Entrepreneurship.

With Tel Aviv University, Harvard University and TiE Silicon Valley being the partners, the Centre will be patronised by CII members who will not only provide mentorship but will work towards funding connects, scale-up & market connects to start-ups, he said.

CII is launching 10 pilot projects to scientifically manage Municipal Solid Waste: “People-Public-Private-Partnership” model, Mr Banerjee said, adding that CII member companies will invest in designing, developing, implementing and managing comprehensive, sustainable, scalable end-to-end waste management solutions. CII will also work towards scaling up about 500 towns after successful implementation of 10 city-pilot projects.

CII has also facilitated construction of 4394 toilet blocks in Government schools by industry. Working with the Centre & State Governments for public toilets in urban areas, the CII Director General said.

CII has identified 6 Manufacturing sectors & 26 sub-sectors in which India can be No. 1 / No. 2 in the world. Specifics including strategic roadmap will be released for Automotives, Aerospace & Defence, Engineering, Cement & Steel, Chemicals & Pharma and ICTE, he added.

As to the Make in India initiative, after successful Make in India Week with more than 900,000 business visitors and investment intent of more than 15 lakh crores, Special initiatives planned include Foreign Outreach planned in 8 countries covering 11 sectors (Electronics, GAS & LNG, Industrial Tech, Automobiles, Refrigeration, Marine, Sub-contracting, Construction, Electricals, Building & Architecture) and Domestic outreach: 4 mega events planned in 4 major cities in 4 major sectors (Services, Aerospace, Mining, Engineering), Mr Banerjee said.

“Our focus on manufacturing will go a step further to identify specific manufacturing sectors in which India can be a global leader and CII will provide a strategic roadmap to meet this objective, he said .

“Further, CII will also develop a diagnostic tool for assessing firm level competitiveness in Indian manufacturing. This tool will enable us integrate with our Centres of Excellence for both advisory services as well as capacity building, he added.

“CII has successfully organized the Make in India week from 13-18 February 2016 in Mumbai. The event saw tremendous response from key global manufacturing leaders. CII will plan special initiatives focused on foreign outreach in 8 countries covering 11 sectors,” he further commented.

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