Government policies to boost economic growth

Sharad Jaipuria writes about the need for time bound single window system of clearances at centre and state level on top priority so that project implementation is carried out smoothly without any hurdles.

Sharad Jaipuria

Sharad Jaipuria

India has witnessed the world’s biggest electoral democracy in the recent general elections with nearly 814 million voters exercised their voting rights. The country also marked the highest ever voter turnout at 66.4 per cent with around 100 million new voters. The significant outcome of this general election is a majority government at the centre, which I believe have mandate to implement policy regime effectively and efficiently. India, I believe, is experiencing a new wave of confidence.

The 10 points agenda provided by the new government is inspiring and would go a long way to foster strong, stable and inclusive India. Reforms in infrastructure and investments would make India an attractive destination and improve its international competitiveness whereas focus on education, health, water, energy and roads will improve the quality of life and standards of living and improvement in overall human development of the country.

There are many projects which have been cleared by Cabinet Committee on Investments (CCI) but have not been rolled out due to lack coordination between central and state governments while giving clearances and implementing projects. Hence, time bound single window system of clearances at centre and state level should be undertaken on top priority.

The Hon’ble President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee in his address to the Parliament has said that serving the people would be the first priority.

The government’s agenda to control inflation, poverty elimination, state specific development, development of agricultural infrastructure and agricultural technology, predictable, transparent and fair policy environment and effective governance would foster much needed economic growth.

It is encouraging to know that Government will keep sustainability at the core of their planning process and undertake reforms to enhance ease of doing business in India with an ambitious infrastructure development programme to be implemented in the next 10 years. As announced by the Hon’ble President, a comprehensive National Energy Policy and introduction of GST while addressing the concerns of the states would be conducive for industrial development in the economy.

Further, the government’s agenda as elaborated by the Hon’ble President for improving the quality of life in villages, upliftment of disadvantaged sections of the society, development of youth, women empowerment and National Health Assurance Mission will ensure socio-economic development which will fuel overall growth in the economy.

However, the economy is poised with various challenges ahead in terms of sluggish industrial/ manufacturing growth, supply side bottlenecks in agricultural produce, high inflation, rising bad loans, unemployment, women’s safety and national security which newly formed government need to address. Hence, revival of economy needs immediate attention.

PHD Chamber believes that the government should achieve a sustainable 8 per cent GDP growth in the next five years and thereafter strive for 10 per cent growth. There should be clear policies on economic growth, containing inflation and reducing fiscal deficit.

We believe that manufacturing sector reforms should be at the top of the agenda of the government to enhance its growth and productivity to generate millions of employment opportunities in the economy. State of the art infrastructure, hassle-free environment clearances, reforms in the labor laws, special attention to the MSMEs sector would be critical to increase manufacturing share in GDP from 16 per cent to 25 per cent.

The implementation of GST would be critical as it has the potential to increase India’s GDP by 2 percentage points and to remove the cascading impact of indirect taxes.

Increase in agricultural productivity by providing good quality agriculture-infrastructure to improve supply-chain scenario would be critical to sustain growth trajectory in the coming times. Quality of higher education and skill sets is imperative to bring more and more of our human resources in the production chain. Skill development is essential to execute the various infrastructure projects which have been stuck up because of skill deficiency.

Banking sector reforms should be undertaken as the banking sector has an important role to play in meeting the financial needs of the trade and industry and contribute to India’s growth story.

India has a vast pool of entrepreneurs and some of the great management minds. These minds if given encouragement to invest/start/grow businesses; they can surely become competitive on the global stage.

The recent reforms announced by NDA government regarding bureaucracy are inspiring. Transparency in government and confidence in bureaucracy would improve business environment and help industry to rejuvenate and expand further. I believe that strong administration and governance would achieve strong economic outcomes in the coming times.

There is a need to check the effectiveness of various ongoing socio-economic development programmes and define their deliverables and outcomes in a time bound manner. States should also be encouraged to ensure women and child safety.

Leakages in social sector spending should be removed and deliverables with time bound specifications should be defined. Further, the justice delivery system should be speeded up and vacancies of judges at all levels should be filled.

We are happy to have the new government in place with Mr. Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister of our country. We look forward to strong steps and implementation of developmental policies across India and making India an attractive investment destination for Industrialists both domestic and overseas in the coming times. We hope that the Union Budget 2014-15 would live up to the industry expectations and facilitate businesses in the coming times.

(The author is President, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry.)