Ranchi/New Delhi, April 4: The government and industry must work together to avail of new avenues of growth, said Arun Jaitley, Union minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs and Information and Broadcasting (IB), while inaugurating the annual session of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in New Delhi on Monday. “A combination of entrepreneurship and credibility will be the essence of industry,” he stated.
The CII Annual Session 2016 is being held in New Delhi on 4-5 April 2016 under the theme of ‘Building National Competitiveness.’
“A large and active private sector is in the interests of the country as it creates jobs and boosts the economy,” stated the Finance Minister. India needs to fully utilize this moment when public opinion is strongly aspired for the country’s growth. He stressed that while global factors have had an adverse impact on India, there is currently high interest overseas in its economy. India’s high growth would further accelerate as the global economy improves, he felt.
The government has proactively addressed issues across industry sectors such as steel, sugar, and power. However, government and industry would need to work together to address concerns for other sectors, felt the minister. He reiterated that reasonable taxation would make India competitive.
Further, infrastructure construction in rural roads, highways, railways, airports and ports would positively impact manufacturing. The finance minister expressed hope that interest rates would be more competitive in the future.
Regarding the rural sector, the minister said that village electrification, irrigation, interest rate subventions and higher farm credit would revive domestic demand. Additional funds for MNREGA especially for creation of assets would increase productivity and double farm incomes which in turn would raise rural demand and boost private investments.
While stating that the past year was challenging for industry, the fnance minister felt that non-performing assets would come down with faster economic growth. Industry must play a positive role in this area and lead in entrepreneurship and credibility, he emphasized, adding that the debate must be moved in the right directions. The minister concluded by calling for industry to lead the economy in the coming year.
Sumit Mazumder, president, CII, said that competitiveness of the nation, industry and enterprise must be built. “CII strongly believes that India can attain 8-10 percent rates of GDP growth and this can be sustained over a generation,” he noted. He mentioned that implementation of the Goods and Services Tax, fast-tracking of the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), unlocking stalled projects and building rural demand would speed up growth.
Complimenting the finance minister on the “Indradhanush” strategy for public sector banks, the CII president called for establishing a National Asset Management Company to take over stressed assets.
Dr Naushad Forbes, president designate, CII, reiterated that there are huge opportunities to be tapped and that reform must address good economics. CII would continue to work with the government on its economic agenda, he stated.