New Delhi: With GDP growth at 6.9 per cent in 2011-12 vis-à-vis 8.4 per cent in the previous two years, the Indian economy is currently in the midst of a slowdown. In addition, key economic indicators including high fiscal deficit (at 5.9 per cent of GDP), high inflation and deceleration in investment activity have further exacerbated the situation. Meanwhile, weakening industrial growth (plummeting to 4.5%) is a key cause of concern. Despite the grim outlook, there is some good news. With the interest cycle turning around, some recovery in capital formation and in GDP growth is expected in 2012-13. We thus have ahead of us the herculean task of reviving economic growth. Further reforms are needed for the economy to get back to pre-crisis growth trajectory. Hence, it is imperative that there is a focus on Reforms and Governance aimed at revival of growth. This needs structural reforms both at the central as well as the state level, said Mr Adi G Godrej, President, CII at a Press Conference organized here today.
Thus, the CII’s Theme for 2012-13: “Reviving Economic Growth: Reforms and Governance”
Mr Godrej added CII has been continuously engaging with the Government and political parties in advocacy efforts to promote reforms in critical areas such as Taxation, Financial Services, Land acquisition, Manufacturing, Energy, Mining, and several others area of importance to the economy. For instance, GST implementation alone could contribute 1.0 – 1.5% to GDP growth. Hence, CII has been working at all possible levels to build consensus on implementation of GST and the coming year will see further deepening of this engagement with States.
CII strongly supports the raising of FDI Limits in aviation, insurance, defence and opening up multi-brand retail. CII will continue to engage with the Government and political parties to sensitize them on the positive impact of FDI reforms. CII is also advocating further reduction of Interest rates by 100 bps by December 2012 to stimulate Investments.
CII at the state level will advocate key reforms in Agriculture, Power, Land Acquisition & reforms related to procedural & clearance issues faced in setting up new businesses. To push for these reforms, considerable policy advocacy is needed at the state level. I propose to setup a CII Central Taskforce to monitor State level reforms and strengthen our advocacy with States for speedy implementation of reforms.Gujarat is on a different plane than most of the other States. The State seems to have mastered the art of attracting investments. Vibrant Gujarat has etched out a path for many States who are going now this way.
Talking about Gujarat Mr Godrej said, “The State has strong e-Governance and has a model single window clearance system. In that sense most of the regular reforms are already implemented. The State is surplus in Power and a leader in Infrastructure”. As the state’s focus is on encouraging innovation and R & D, looking at cutting edge technologies from India & abroad, engaging with youth & focusing on agriculture, we are setting up three Centres of Excellences with the help of Govt of Gujarat, KAFC (Knowledge Application Facilitation Centre) - assisting SMEs to upgrade technology, Nano-Technology Centre – to promote technology ventures in green nanotechnology and IPFC (Intellectual Property Facilitation Centre) is on the anvil with the help of Ministry of Small & Medium Enterprises – to facilitate robust IP ecosystem in the state.
CII Gujarat will be working with Govt. of Gujarat to formulate a Science, Technology and Innovation Policy for the State. CII shall also be working on National Innovation Competition and rewards for the best innovations during the Innovation Conclave & Technology Conclave as a run up to Vibrant Gujarat - 2013. CII along with the Government of Gujarat shall be organizing a National Convention: Next Frontier in Agribusiness & Technology which shall showcase best agricultural practices in the country.
CII – National Partner to Vibrant Gujarat – 2013 shall be organizing 12 sectoral seminars and 11 International Delegations to 32 countries in the run up to the summit. CII would be coming out with an Investment Climate Study of Gujarat & a study on Tourism in Gujarat. CII will also launch Green Rating System in the State developed by CII – GBC.