FICCI unveils economic agenda for long-term growth

New Delhi, Jan 6 : Industry chamber FICCI Monday stressed the need to strengthen key enablers of enterprises and job creation for sustained high growth.

"We wish to see India get back to a high growth track. Adding 10-12 million jobs annually requires a growth of 8-9 percent over a long period," newly-elected FICCI President Sidharth Birla said.

He also said planned capital expenditure should not be compromised for revenue spending to keep fiscal deficit in check.

Unveiling an agenda for long-term growth at a press conference, Birla said that while social spending is a short-term measure for job creation, a permanent solution lies in linking social spending to asset creation and skill building.

Underlining the imperative to reduce the current account deficit (CAD), Birla said policy interventions were needed to curb imports of natural resources which are available domestically.

"We also need comprehensive plans for manufacturing competitiveness and building global scale including in services," he added.

India has become quite dependent on foreign institutional investors (FIIs) as foreign direct investment (FDI) has dwindled.

"Deepening of domestic capital markets is the only lasting solution to improve resilience to unforeseen events."

"We must be seen as a nation inviting capital. Clarity in policy formulation, greater certainty in legislative interpretation besides time-bound, transparent implementation of policies with minimal discretion is what business relentlessly seeks," said the FICCI president.

According to the World Bank, India has been ranked 134th out of 189 countries in terms of ease of doing business.

"Enabling predictable policy outcomes, tax equity, and a situation where decision making - both in businesses and government - is not compromised by a propensity to cast aspersions in hindsight, must be on top of Government's agenda," Birla said.

--IANS (Posted on 06-01-2014)

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