STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
New Delhi, 15 September
Perhaps ominously reminiscent of the 2008-09 financial slowdown, corporate India’s business confidence has plummeted to the lowest level in 17 quarters, according to a survey by leading industry body Ficci. 
The depressing development is due to high cost and constraints of credit availability, according to the survey. 
Overall business confidence index has fallen to 49.0 in the survey period, highlighting the significant moderation in the performance of companies vis-a-vis performance over the previous six months. 
The participating companies are not too optimistic about the near-term performance either, Ficci said. 
“A discernible increase is seen in the proportion of respondents reporting a "moderately to substantially worse" performance at the economy and industry level going ahead,” according to Ficci’s Business Confidence survey, which was conducted during the months of July and August 2013. 
The slide in the confidence level of corporate India continued for the fourth successive quarter. 
About 72 per cent of the participating companies cited high cost of credit as a major concern and a factor constraining growth, while 38 per cent said that availability of credit was an issue. 
Going forward, the companies suggested measures like expediting stalled infrastructure projects, simplifying policies and procedures in conducting business, implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and a cut in interest rates by the RBI to kick-start investments and propel growth. 
The apex bank will release its next mid-quarter monetary policy review on 20 September.