Strict measures taken by the government to keep inflation under control may persuade the RBI to take appropriate action on interest rates going forward, said Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, indicating that it may be brought down by the central bank.

“The current situations of war and the Covid pandemic have impacted the interest rates in recent times,” he told the media on the sidelines of the ongoing three-day ‘B20 India Inception Meeting’ organised by the CII in Gandhinagar. He added that India has done a good job so far in controlling inflation when worldwide countries were struggling to deal with it.

“In countries where inflation used to be 1-2 per cent annually, it has now touched 10-12 per cent, some even say it has touched the 40-year peak. In such a situation, the way India has controlled its inflation has sparked discussions all over the world,” said Goyal. 

 The government is taking strict measures to keep inflation under control, the Minister added. “I believe, going forward, the RBI will make appropriate action considering these measures,” he added.

‘Apple, a success story’

On the big opportunity offered by the Indian market to the world, Goyal said technology major Apple was a big success story for India. “They are at 5 to 7 per cent of their total manufacturing [in India]. They are targeting to go up to 25 per cent of manufacturing 

They are launching the most recent models from India that are manufactured in India,” he said.

On the need to strengthen the digital economy, Minister of Communications and Electronics & Information Technology, Ashwani Vaishnaw, said while protection of data was good, it also acted as a pushback against innovation. “We needed a template for individual rights and good for society, but also that pushes innovation. It is a difficult balance,” said the Minister, adding that the draft Digital Data Protection Bill tried to reach the balance and had met with appreciation at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Decoupling and de-monopolisation of global value chain (GVC) is important and the B20 must seriously work on it in addition to issues, including bridging the digital divide and climate finance, pointed out Amitabh Kant, India’s G20 Sherpa.

Learning lesson that the B20 draws from the communication at the meet will be critical for Sherpa communication and used as inputs for G20 policy making, he added.

B20 has the mandate of representing the voice of the international business  community on global economic issues and feeds into the deliberations of several tiers of G20 meetings including the Leaders’ Summit. 

“The seven task forces we are focused on are all needed by the world at this time and for the coming decades. The first theme is on the global supply chain and how we bring resilience in them. The second one is on the Future of Work. All of  us know how it is being redefined,” said N Chandrasekaran, Chair, B20 India, and Chairman, Tata Sons.

India, which holds the rotating G20 Presidency in 2023, will host the 18th G20 Summit in September, and has announced its intention to champion the voice of developing nations while promoting inclusive growth during its presidency.

The B20 meet in Gandhinagar is being attended by over 600 delegates, including top business representatives from G20 countries.

(Travel to Ahmedabad for the reporter was sponsored by CII)