Industry gives a thumbs-up for infra focus, agri push

Garima Singh New Delhi | Updated on January 30, 2018

Anil Khaitan ,President PHD during the PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry 112th Annual Session (AGM), in New Delhi. Photo: Kamal Narang

Kolkata, Date: 17/03/2016. Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII. Photo: Ashoke Chakrabarty   -  Business Line

NEW DELHI, 05/01/2018: Rashesh Shah, President of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), during an interview to Business Line in New Delhi on January 5, 2018. Photo: Ramesh Sharma   -  BL

By focusing on job creation, agriculture and education, the Economic Survey has been able to tap the relevant issues, believe industry experts.

“The survey has raised the issue of agriculture, which is the right approach,” said Sandeep Jajodia, President of industry body Assocham. “All agri related or agri focused budgets should not be called populist budgets. As for education and employment generation, the two must go together. Education must involve skill-based training, which will then translate into job creation.”

He added that there is a need to keep a vigil on inflation, particularly in the wake of rising fuel prices. Also, the government must remain steadfast on the path of reforms, irresepective of it being an election year. Good economics can be good politics as well, he pointed out.

With the Centre focusing on investing substantially in building infrastructure, agriculture and employment, the PHD Chamber termed the survey forward-looking.

“The focus of the Economic Survey on agriculture (R&D) is also exhilarating, as it is the need of the hour to sustain agricultural productivity growth in the long run,” said Anil Khaitan, President, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The Survey has outlined improvements made in tax coverage — both direct and indirect — and tax collection. The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) said this can be a game changer if it continues to rise in the years to come.

Chandrajit Banerjee, Director-General, CII, said: “The Survey provides new ideas for building a positive momentum for growth in the coming year and for faster growth thereafter. It has rightly alluded that the chief areas of policy focus in the medium term are employment, especially for women; educated and healthy labour force; and raising farm productivity.”

Industry experts believe that major structural reforms which were introduced in 2017-18, such as Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Insolvency Code, will boost the economy in the coming years.

Rashesh Shah, President, FICCI, said: “The government has been proactively working towards further improvement in the GST structure. We look forward to convergence to fewer tax slabs and inclusion of all sectors within GST.”

He added that the economy will start reaping the benefits of these reforms in the next fiscal year and that the organisation looks forward to continuity in the reforms process.

Published on January 29, 2018

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