Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meeting captains of industry, in New Delhi on July 29, 2013.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meeting captains of industry, in New Delhi on July 29, 2013.
Business & Economy

PM discusses steps to reduce CAD, boost growth with industrialists

NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, July 29, 2013

The Prime Minister's Council on Trade & Industry met here today to discuss issues concerning the Indian economy, especially steps to correct the current account deficit (CAD) and the slowdown of industrial growth and measures to revive it.
The meeting also deliberated on the depreciation of the rupee and its impact on trade and industry; skill development and development of industrial corridors.
The meeting was attended by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Commerce & Industry Minister Anand Sharma, Planning Commissin Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council Chairman V Krishnamurthy and Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council Chairman C Rangarajan.
Representatives of trade and industry who attended the meeting were Mr Rahul Bajaj, Dr. Ashok Ganguly, Mr Mukesh D. Ambani, Mr N R Narayana Murthy, Mr Azim Premji, Ms Swati Piramal, Mr Deepak Parekh, Mr Jamshyd N. Godrej, Ms Chanda Kochhar, Mr Venu Srinivasan, Mr Sunil Kant Munjal, Mr S. Gopalakrishnan, Dr. Rana Kapoor, Mr Sunil B. Mittal and Ms Naina Lal Kidwai.
Welcoming the members of the council, Dr Singh invited the captains of industry to give suggestions to improve the economy and remove the mood of pessimism that has unnecessarily spread in some quarters.
The Finance and Commerce Ministers then briefed the council on the government's thoughts on the agenda.
An official press release said there was a detailed and lengthy discussion on the issues. While some expressed their concerns, some gave concrete suggestions on how to improve matters.
The release said the overall sentiment was on the need to bring back the mood, converting decisions to action and taking the country back to a growth path of 8% or more.
The Prime Minister wanted a report to be submitted within one month on what could be done in the next two or three months.
On the question of reducing the CAD, the meeting considered various suggestions such as raising duties on consumer and luxury goods, innovative ways of reducing gold imports through bonds and so on, reducing conditions on foreign direct investment and speed up decisions by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board, issuing of a sovereign bond and reciprocal swaplines and acceleration of software exports by easing doemstic movement of people, resolving tax issues, making inward visas easier and taking up the Visa Bill with the United States.
Other ideas discussed in this regard were raising of resources by selling shares of SUUTI, BALCO and HZL, boosting of agricultural exports, bringing offshore rupee market onshore and boosting textile exports.
On the question of reviving growth, the meeting felt there should be focus on grwoth as well as on inclusion and that accelerated depreciation should be extended to small and medium enterprises. Participants felt the bottlenecks in the pharmaceuticals sector should be removed and there should be a moratorium on loan repayment of delayed projects.
They suggested focus on annuity-based PPP projects, restoration of cash flows of firms by paying receivables, boosting domestic electronic manufacture, using public sector land for industrial parks, restarting of renewable energy projects, focus on incumbent investors for the short run, resolution of tax issues and removal of tax uncertainties, using Government procurement to boost local industry and focusing on urban infrastructure.
On the industrial corridors, the suggestions included sector-specific zones and clusters, efficient single window clearances and good facilitation, giving out of pre-cleared projects and acceleration of the Amritsar-Delhi-Kolkata corridor as the region is vital for growth.
On skill development, the participants stressed the need for good certification on a vast scale, and callled for focus on the home service market.

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