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Monday, Jan 05, 2004

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FICCI says focus on `growth with employment'

Richa Mishra

New Delhi , Jan. 4

`GROWTH with employment' is the mantra that the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) would like the public and the private sectors to chant for the next few years to meet the global economic challenges. "There is a need to re-position our reforms and growth agenda in order to address the issues of growth with employment," Dr A.C. Muthiah, outgoing President, FICCI, said.

In fact, the chamber's theme for its 76th annual general meeting, to be inaugurated by the President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, on January 7, is `Growth with employment'.

Elaborating further, Dr Muthiah said, "Take for example the small-medium enterprises, which can serve as major employment generators and help in growth. Another sector that generates employment is the informal sector.

"Within the manufacturing sector too, we need to identify the segments which create a synergy between employment and growth. Some of the sectors are auto-components and textiles. Besides, the lower end of services industry also needs to be tapped," he said.

Cautioning that in the growth which the Indian economy was currently seeing, "we must not lose sight of the unfinished agenda of reforms and the emerging threat of a growing pool of unemployed," Dr Amit Mitra, Secretary General, FICCI told Business Line, "While we have reached the critical mass of quality human capital at the upper end of the spectrum, the entire lower end remains vulnerable and could threaten the fabric of our democracy."

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