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‘Economy needs Govt-industry partnership, not confrontation’

Kris Gopalakrishnan, who recently took over as the new president of the industry body, Confederation Of Indian Industry, said that industry has to work in partnership with the government and not in confrontation to help the economy get back on track.

'There is a need to create balance between job creation, economic growth and environment', was the context in which he said that the industry has to work together and not in confrontation with the government.

Interacting with the press after taking over as the new president of the CII, he presented his vision for the fiscal year 2013-14. He also highlighted the four important areas on which the CII would work to accelerate the economic growth.

These are — Innovation, Transformation, Inclusion and Reforms and Governance. Pointing to the fact that it is still difficult to do business in India as it ranks at 132 on the index of ease of doing business, he said the major reason for this is the lack of reforms.

Also, the major challenge is the issue of funding for which the CII has asked for a 100 basis point reduction in interest rates. The other major challenge which hits business sentiment is the huge number of infrastructure projects that are held up and need clearances.

These stalled infrastructure projects need to be immediately cleared. For this the CII president asked for speedy clearance of the top 50 projects in terms of investments on a priority basis.

Acknowledging the fact that there has been a 'slowdown in legislative action and executive decision', Gopalakrishnan said that there is an urgent need to establish independent regulatory authorities in the coal, real-estate, health etc and also improve Centre-state discussion mechanism.

The other major area of concern is the delay in the roll-out of GST which, he claimed, would help in boosting the growth rate by 1.5-2 percentage points and help in job creation. Also, the slump in the manufacturing sector, which he claimed would be the major sector for job creation in the next decade, needs to be looked at.

To revive the manufacturing sector there is a need to speedily implement the National Manufacturing Policy and effect labour reforms, he opined. Other major challenges which he outlined for the economy are the dilemma of twin deficits and also the decrease in the exports which would further fuel the current account deficit and lead to a decrease in foreign exchange reserves.
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