STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
New Delhi, 6 January
Industry body Ficci has underlined the need to strengthen key enablers for growth and job creation through a multi-pronged economic agenda to return to a sustained high growth path.
Releasing the agenda here today, Mr Sidharth Birla, president of Ficci, said it is essentially dynamic and will undergo refinements and additions as “we move forward”.
The agenda suggests imperatives on issues affecting competitiveness in the real economy, identifies key goals and drivers required to ease conduct of business, improve governance and build systemic trust and focuses on important sectors such as education and healthcare as these have a significant bearing on sustenance of an enabling environment for businesses.
“We wish to see India get back to a high growth track. Healthy economic growth on a sustained basis is imperative for job creation and the long-term well-being of the nation. Adding a needed 10-12 million jobs annually requires growth of the order of eight to nine per cent over a long period”, Mr Birla said.
“Accelerating investments in the industrial sector is central. There is a need to nurture and maintain a positive state of mind among existing and potential entrepreneurs. A healthy macro-environment is a precondition for higher investments,” he said.
The three key tangible macro-indicators having a bearing on investor perception are fiscal deficit, current account deficit and inflation, the Ficci chief said, adding that hard decisions are a must to keep the fiscal deficit under check.
Planned capital expenditure should not be compromised for revenue spending, he said. Social spending is a short-term measure for job creation, or inclusive but consumption-based prosperity, Mr Birla said.
A permanent solution lies in linking social spending to asset creation and skill building, for instance appropriate linkage of NREGA with productive work would meet inclusivity objectives, while adding to growth, he added.
Bringing CAD down to sustainable levels is essential to bring stability to the external sector, Mr Birla said, adding that policy interventions and resolutions are desperately needed to curb imports of natural resources that are available in abundance domestically. Comprehensive plans for manufacturing competitiveness and building global scale, including in services, are needed, he said.