Economy

Reviving private sector investment more important than FDI: Birla

Suresh P Iyengar Mumbai | Updated on February 27, 2021

Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman, Aditya Birla Group

The government has done the initial plumbing work for the Indian economy to come out of the Covid crisis and it is now time for India Inc to rise to the occasion, said Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman, Aditya Birla Group.

Comparing the current reforms to that of Manmohan Singh’s in 1991, Birla said the earlier reforms were necessitated due to the payment crisis while the present one can take India to sustained growth in years to come.

“I would term this Union Budget 2021 as the new 1991 in terms of reforms. The government has addressed all concerns of the industry including that of labour and agriculture. The Insolvency Code can solve the NPA problems of banks and the national infrastructure pipeline can build physical asset leading to multi-decadal growth,” he said at Asia Economic Dialogue 2021 on Saturday.

Reviving private sector investment is more important than attracting foreign direct investment and the performance-linked incentive scheme is in the right direction to build global giants in specific sectors, said Birla.

Even as India is coming out of Covid crisis, the Birla Group has announced investment of $2.8 billion across cement and metal businesses besides venturing into new paint business.

UltraTech Cement will be adding 15 million tonnes of fresh capacity, taking its overall installed capacity to 140 mt while Hindalco will double its downstream capacity. Novelis has completed an acquisition of over $2 billion during Covid, he said.

Post the tussle between the US and China, he said most corporates have learnt the importance of building business with regional focus than going global. Aditya Birla Group has preferred to build comparatively smaller size businesses across globe than feeding products across borders.

”Our group businesses have always believed in lobalisation than globalisation, though our competitors had a contrary view and they were hit badly during the Covid,” said Birla.

While Adiya Birla Group companies Novelis and Birla Carbon has build global businesses they always had a regional structure, he said.

Stating that Indian companies are not against RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) and FDA (free trade agreement) provided adequate protections are given to prevent below cost dumping by the competing countries. Indian companies are competitive enough to take on global companies but it should happen on equal footing, he said.

Published on February 27, 2021

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