Boost private investments to reverse economic slowdown: Industry to centre

Well-known industrialists on Thursday requested the union finance ministry to instigate economic growth by supporting private investment, improving the regulatory environment and increasing export competitiveness.

Nirmala Sitharaman

In a pre-budget meeting with finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and top officials of the finance ministry, industrialists suggested several ways to support the rural economy by boosting consumption.

“Other suggestions included ideas to improve IBC (Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code) in relation to NCLTs (National Company Law Tribunals) and banks; faster mergers, acquisitions & demergers processes, ways to reduce the time for FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) approval; structural changes in laws for effective and stable business environment; time-bound decisions for augmenting Ease of Doing Business both at Central & State levels; new investment of capital for building infrastructure; Capital expenditure for infrastructure to boost economy; preventing predatory pricing and dumping in India; facilitating R&D in India to boost Make in India; harnessing Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) by leveraging social funding through a new programme; ensuring liquidity for NBFCs (Non-Bank Financial Institutions) with focus on rural economy and ways to increase consumption in the economy,” the finance ministry said in a statement.

Vikram Kirloskar, president of Confederation of Indian Industry who participated in the meeting said that decriminalizing of several laws and procedures would help in addressing the issue of trust deficit. “This will be in line with the principle that entrepreneurship is a risk venture. Any willful defaults should be dealt with firmly. However, in most cases the penalty of fine should be enough to deal with inadvertent non-compliance,” he added.

The Pre-Budget meeting was also attended by prominent faces namely Sunil Bhrati Mittal, Founder & Chairman of Bharti Enterprises; B.V.N. Rao, Chairman, GMR Group; Vipin Sondhi, Managing Director and CEO, Ashok Leyland Ltd.; Sanjiv Goenka, Chairman, RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group; Jatin Dalal, Global Chief Financial Officer, Wipro Ltd.; Manoj Chugh, President, Group Public Affairs and Member-Group Executive Board, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.; Ravi Raheja, Group President, K Raheja Corp Group; Acharya Balkrishan, Chairman Patanjali Ayurved Ltd.; Sandip Somany, President, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI); Balkrishan Goenka, President, ASSOCHAM among others.

Sitharaman is most likely to present her second budget on 1 February in the midst of expectations that she would pronounce fresh actions to reverse the current economic slowdown that has resulted in the  six and half year low GDP growth rate at 4.5% in the September quarter.

“Till now, across the board, whoever has asked for our intervention, we have responded to them. I will be keen to see if these steps are meeting the expectations of the sectors concerned. If not, I may want to see if I need to do more,” Sitharaman said.

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