New Delhi: Articulating the growth outlook for the economy, Mr R Dinesh, President, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) said, “CII expects the GDP growth in a range of 6.5-6.7% in 2023-24, supported by strong domestic drivers and robust capex momentum of the government. The Indian economy remains resilient in the face of a challenging global environment, and we do not anticipate major domestic roadblocks in the year ahead.”
He was addressing the media for the first time after taking over as President CII. Apart from capex push by the government, he added that the resilience in the domestic economy comes from the healthy balance sheets of the corporates and a well capitalised financial system.
India’s medium-term growth prospects are healthy, he stressed. Elaborating on this, he explained, “The multi-dimensional reforms, along with fiscal and monetary policies, will help the Indian economy step up its GDP growth to a CAGR of 7.8% in the next decade (FY22-FY31) as compared to 6.6% in the previous decade, ex the pandemic year of FY21.” Capital investments, at a higher scale by the government and expected fresh ones by the private sector, will drive medium-term growth, along with productivity enhancing reforms such as GST, taxation and IBC, among others.
A range of pragmatic and very transformational policies and campaigns of the Government, which continued through the pandemic, helped catalyse a sharp economic recovery and the resilience in growth that India is witnessing.
Elaborating on the enabling reform agenda for the Government, going forward, President CII prioritised 8 key areas.
One, creating institutional mechanisms for building consensus on some of the key next generation reforms in areas which lie in the state or concurrent domain. These include factor market reforms i.e land, labour, agriculture and power, which are particularly important for realising India’s ambition of becoming a global manufacturing hub.
Two, reforms for financing India’s growth will supply funding at lower costs. Some of the steps that need to be taken in this direction include channelising long-term funds available with pension and insurance sector into capital markets, and creating innovative avenues for growth capital from banks.
Three, interventions related to trade and investments will work towards India’s target of $2 trillion in exports. Some of the initiatives on this front could be setting up of a Trade & Investment Promotion Body with dedicated overseas offices to provide marketing services to Indian exporters, fast-tracking FTAs with UK, EU, Israel, GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council), and EFTA and undertaking policies for services export promotion,
Four, on the agriculture front, the Government should facilitate greater and direct corporate sector participation to improve farm productivity. It should also facilitate deeper corporate sector engagement in creating markets for farm produce.
Five, energy being the fuel for growth, India should manage its energy transition without affecting growth.
Six, to ensure easy availability of land for industrial use, the India Industrial Land Bank (IILB), which is a GIS-enabled database of industrial areas/clusters across the country, may be evolved as the National Level Land Bank for not only obtaining information on land but also facilitating its acquisition.
Seven, Government must continue to work towards decriminalising all business and economic laws.
Eight, continued thrust on Ease of Doing Business, where many important initiatives have been taken by the Government, will lower costs. Going forward, all approvals, both central and those related to states should be mandatorily provided through the National single Window System. A Cabinet Secretary-monitored centralized online grievance redressal mechanism for all EoDB issues, should be developed. Dispute Resolution Mechanisms for GST, i.e. the GST Appellate tribunals and National Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling (NAAAR) should be implemented at the earliest.
Highlighting the opportunities for driving growth, Mr Dinesh emphasised on the importance of Building Trust. He said, “Trust needs to be built between Business and Government, Business and Business, and Business and Community and Society, including media. Less regulation can only come if we build trust in industry.”
He also announced that CII will set up a Quality Mission 2.0. CII’s first quality mission in 1998 led to the setting of standards by the Government and the new quality mission will align forcefully with global requirements. “This time we will set best quality standards and benchmarks for services as well, including health facilities, tourism, and other services. Quality is an important factor in building trust and this mission will support industry in this endeavour,” he added.
Livelihood business, tourism, wellness, skill development, and future technologies were outlined as some of CII’s key action priorities for the coming year.