Economy

Centre, States must cut fuel taxes to bring relief to common man, says CII chief Sanjiv Bajaj

K.R. Srivats | Updated on: May 16, 2022
Sanjiv Bajaj, CII President

Sanjiv Bajaj, CII President | Photo Credit: JAYANT PEDNEKAR

Presents 10-point policy agenda for the government to leapfrog GDP to $9 trillion by FY31

The Centre and the States must come together and reduce fuel taxes so as to help the common man, who is hit by the high fuel prices, new president of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Sanjiv Bajaj, has said.

Asserting that private investments in the economy have started taking off, Bajaj said the CII sees GDP growth for 2022-23 coming in at 7.8-8 per cent despite challenges such as high global oil prices and uncertainty created by Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Sorting out uncertainties

“We know petrol prices have skyrocketed in the last few months. We also know that the taxes on fuel, by both the Centre and States, are high. We do hope that the Centre and States come together in a collaborative manner to cut these taxes so that the negative impact on common man is tackled and to help the economy as well,” Bajaj said in his first media interaction after taking over as the CII chief.

Bajaj, who is also the Chairman and Managing Director of Bajaj Finserv, expressed confidence that the tailwinds from higher exports, increased private investments, continued push of government on infrastructure investments and a likely normal monsoon will help sort out uncertainties.

“While we do not have everything in our control, we do have enough positives that we can work on to ensure that we get the most optimistic side of growth rather than being below 8 per cent,” Bajaj said. 

Vision ahead

He also presented a 10-point policy agenda for the government to leapfrog GDP to $9 trillion by FY31. He underlined that India has to increase its savings and investment rates if the country were to grow at a strong rate and tap the current geopolitical opportunities. Merchandise exports would continue to be a key driver of the growth story. Initiatives such as the PLI scheme, improving investments in infrastructure and logistics have all played an important role, he added.

The 10 points in the policy agenda presented were: increased government expenditure on public health and education; focus on scale and technology to power Aatmanirbhar Bharat; employment-linked incentive schemes (ECLIs) for services; improving business and investment climate — which include focus on cost of doing business (CoDB) for competitiveness; digital approvals, self certification and dispute resolution to fuel ease of doing business (EoDB) 2.0; decriminalising business laws de-clogging judicial system.

The points also include financial sector reforms for financing growth; continued privatisation and asset monetisation reforms; setting up Technology Commission of India; strong institutional export architecture with robust State engagement; sectoral roadmap for net-zero transition; and inter-State councils (GST type) for land, labour, power and agriculture.

Published on May 16, 2022
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