“The scale and content of economic reforms from the Government in the past two years has been very healthy. Industry believes that the range of policy actions across various economic dimensions sets a very strong foundation for future growth,” said Dr Naushad Forbes, President, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), commenting on completion of two years of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government at the Centre.
Identifying major policy measures in the areas of taxation, ease of doing business, public-private partnerships, and financial sector, among others, Dr Forbes emphasized that the Government has taken a series of steps that together add up to a renewed business environment. “With demand conditions picking up on a normal monsoon, investment will turn up in the coming 6-9 months, kickstarting a new growth cycle,” he added.
“Targeted and comprehensive interventions in infrastructure with faster clearances have got delayed projects moving, particularly in the road sector,” said Dr Forbes. He commented that lead sectors such as cement, steel and power are firming up, indicating pick-up in construction activity. Besides, campaigns such as Make in India, Smart Cities, Clean Energy, Namami Gange and others add to infrastructure creation.
The CII President highlighted the Government’s initiatives in social security through empowerment and new opportunities. “We commend the Government for rolling out direct benefits transfer which reaches subsidies to the needy sections of society, prevents leakages and provides for substantial savings in spending,” he stated. The success of large-scale social sector schemes such as Jan Dhan Yojana, Skill India, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Yojana, Atal Pension Yojana, and Ujjwala Yojana will promote inclusive growth, he felt.
Rural India will benefit from emphasis on irrigation and infrastructure connectivity, added Dr Forbes. Besides, integration of agricultural markets, soil health cards and rural housing program will add to rural prosperity and demand.
Simplification and predictability in tax administration and reforms in the financial sector are comprehensive and well-directed, said CII. The introduction of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, Real Estate and Infrastructure Investment Trusts, and measures to curb NPAs and strengthen banks has added to investor comfort, pointed out President, CII. The Government has also taken commendable action for tax dispute resolution.
CII called on the Government to continue on the path of quick and forceful reforms. “We are optimistic that Government would be able to get the GST Bill passed in the coming monsoon session, paving the way for its introduction in April 2017,” said Dr Forbes, referring to the Goods and Services Tax. “Rapid implementation of various key measures announced already and spread of reforms to the state level are key to economic success going forward,” he concluded.