The newly elected CII President and the co-founder and co-chairman of Infosys, Kris Gopalakrishnan said at the event, “For the revival of economic growth, it is essential to kick-start both investment and consumption demand. The Reserve Bank of India and Government of India must come together to boost growth trends. This can be done by easing the interest rates by at least 100 bps in the current fiscal.”
While unveiling CII’s theme for 2013-14 Gopalakrishnan predicted that GDP growth for this year can possibly come in the range of 6.0 to 6.4 per cent. He said, “Industrial growth is likely to recover given the low base of the previous year, but will probably remain at 5.0-5.5 per cent. Agriculture is forecast to grow at its average pace of 2.5-3.5 per cent. Growth in the services sector will recover but is not likely to accelerate beyond 7.2-7.5 per cent. We must not ignore that global economic conditions will remain fragile.”
For the financial year of 2013-14, CII, as an apex industry body, will focus on, accelerating economic growth through innovation, transformation, inclusion and governance. “This year’s theme for our activity is planned according to the national priority of generating revenues for social programs for inclusive growth.” Gopalakrishnan said.
Industry and policy makers have to aim for coming back to the growth rate of 8-9 per cent in the next two years through kick starting investment and consumption demand. He commented, “Reviving stalled projects is a critical precursor for facilitating higher overall investment. There is a strong need for a dedicated cabinet committee on investment (CCI) to aim for making a repository of the top 50 stalled projects in terms of the investment incurred and go for their revival on a priority basis. Also, streamlining procedural reforms is another major step for India to catapult itself to the high growth trajectory.”
Apart from policy level reforms, it is also needed to increase investor confidence and increase investments by aiming for fiscal consolidation, maintaining the momentum of economic reforms and allowing FDI in critical sectors such as Insurance and Banking. While emphasizing the need for nurturing entrepreneurship, Gopalakrishnan stated, “Start-up activities need to be increased by announcing measures to foster entrepreneur spirit.”
In order to achieve a long term growth path, innovation must be motivated. The Industry must show interest and willingness towards R&D, innovation and design. “To increase industry investments significantly from the current extremely low levels of 0.3 per cent of GDP, an enabling policy framework is imperative. For instilling innovation in the DNA of a company, CII has developed a framework, the industrial innovation framework, which measures an industry’s innovation readiness,” CII President highlighted, “As entrepreneurs and start-ups are high potential future for Indian economy, CII has proposed an ‘India Start-Ups’ group to encourage entrepreneurship.”
CII is aggressively working towards the betterment and reforms for SMEs. A new initiative called “Project Village Budha” is being launched this year targeting to take the idea of Kaizens (small improvements) and enable implementation in a village environment. The objective would be to help earning power of people in the villages through a structured programme for large, medium and small companies from all sectors. While informing about this project, Gopalakrishnan said, “CII’s on-going initiative, the Visionary Leaders for Manufacturing Programme which is transforming manufacturing companies will be expanded. A special programme for MSMEs, the “Golden Top 100 SMEs” will also be launched this year which will work with targeted SMEs through a structured programme and become contributors to Indian SME growth.”