There is a need to focus upon productivity, stimulate demand by spending more on infrastructure and remove the fear factor prevailing in the minds of people. These were some of the important concerns raised by India Inc. CEOs at the 125th Annual session of Confederation of Indian Industry, held over virtual platform.
“The Covid-19 outbreak and resulting lock-down has impacted adversely the real economy, businesses, individuals, Government and financial sector. While government is facing the risk of higher fiscal deficit, the banking sector urgently needs the recapitalisation to the tune of 3-4 lakh crore to meet the lending requirements”, said Uday Kotak, the incoming President of CII.
As the theme of the CII’s 125th Annual Session is to get growth back, the CEOs emphasized the need to bridge the gap between policy articulation and implementation. “We need to move faster on implementation part by strengthening institutions, invest in brand building and address growth”, said Ajay Piramal, Chairman Piramal Group. Further he expressed his fear that If the growth is not brought back urgently then social issues may come up. He also appreciated the concept of “Atma Nirbhar Bharat” but it has to be aggressively promoted like the “Swach Bharat Abhiyan”.
Since the current crisis has emanated out of the health crisis, India has an opportunity to further boost the health sector and become the global leader. “Health sector has the potential to become what India has shown to the world in the field of IT sector’, said Kiran Majumdar-Shaw, CMD, Biocon Limited.
She expressed her optimism that science and innovation is now getting the proper attention as the Government is seeing importance of investment in this sector. She also urged Government to use this new working culture through digital mode to bring necessary regulatory reforms.
Manufacturing sector is still facing lot of challenges on several fronts be it infrastructure, power, road. “To revive manufacturing sector in India, we need to put in place more enablers as only quality infrastructure can help create world class manufacturing”, said Rajnish Kumar, Chairman, State Bank of India. He also underlined the importance of investing more in agriculture sector as the capital expenditure in this sector is stagnant. In services, there is a need to focus upon construction, which is the next major employer after agriculture in India.
Concluding the session, Janamejaya Sinha, Chairman of CII National Committee on Financial Inclusion and Digitization and Chairman – India, The Boston Consulting Group India Private Limited highlighted three key takeaways, need to increase testing to get the fear out from people’s minds, learning to live with a slower economy in the near term while focusing on improving productivity over the medium term and the need to expedite infrastructure works under the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) announced by the government earlier.