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CII urges next Govt to focus on reviving economy, SMEs


An apex industry body the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in its proposal to new Government said that immediate measures are required to focus on reviving economy and growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to generate new jobs.

"MSMEs can play an instrumental role for job creation...with slowing growth and high inflation adversely impacting employment, CII will urge the next Government to focus on reviving growth and generating new jobs," the new President of CII, Ajay S Shriram told media Thursday.

Unveiling the CII action theme for the year as 'Accelerating Growth, Creating Employment', Shriram noted, "In the last six months economic growth pace has come down. In the period of 2004-08 the GDP was at an average growing at the level of 9 percent, thereafter for next 2 years the average growth fell down to 7 percent and in the last few years it has lowered further. One of the important issues which the lower economic growth brings to the forefront is of job creation and with no economic growth it will be a greater challenge. India can achieve GDP growth rate of well over 6 percent provided that systemic reforms are carried out quickly by the new Government." 

In his press conference, Shriram added that CII has proposed a strong 100-day action agenda for the new government to boost growth. 

In manufacturing, it will work with concerned Ministries and State Governments on delayed projects and also on specific policies, particularly for labour intensive sectors. CII has called for quick implementation of the National Manufacturing Policy and would bring out a report on Mass Manufacturing policy.

For micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), CII plans to launch a Finance Facilitation Centre and initiatives to link Indian SMEs with global value chains. 

"A strong economic revival package and right implementation of policies by a fresh Government can help create as many as 150 million jobs in the next ten years," he stressed. 

"Industry is looking for top policy steps such as introduction of GST, easing of interest rates by 100 bps, keeping subsidies at 1.7 percent of GDP, and restructuring of labour laws to promote mass manufacturing."

CII further stated that with continuing robust reforms, GDP growth could be taken back to the 8 per cent level in the next three years. "A market-friendly environment is required that would proactively promote investments, business and entrepreneurship," said Shriram. Mass manufacturing sectors and labour-intensive services sectors need to be encouraged, he continued.

Considering the situation of economic growth and need of job creation being crucial we need to focus on economic growth. Looking forward, India requires to create 12-15 million jobs per year for the next ten years to address the employability for the youth. Not having jobs with large population can lead to disturbing of the social fabric of the country.

Key priorities for CII in the coming year will be in the following ten areas: education, skills, economic growth, manufacturing sector growth, investments, ease of doing business, export competitiveness, legal and regulatory architecture, labour law reforms and entrepreneurship.

In services, CII will constitute National Services Competitiveness Council and develop a sectoral strategy for doubling of services export by 2025. It has targeted several sectors such as Tourism and Hospitality, Financial Services, Telecommunications and Professional Services for export promotion.