The government must open up FDI in multi-branded retail, aviation and insurance

Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has asked the government to take urgent steps to revive the economy, failing which the present deteriorating condition would get worse given the global uncertainties.

“The CII is very concerned about the slow rate of growth. Industrial growth has slowed down to almost zero level. We have to revive growth through reforms, and it is time for the government to take a decision and take it forward,” said CII President Adi Godrej at a press conference while outlining CII’s agenda for economic revival.

He said there had been no structural problem in the economy to warrant such a situation and that the problem could be tackled through policy initiatives, which could help us achieve 8 per cent plus growth easily.

“The central and state government must take reform steps rapidly and the perception of the country (concerning GAAR and retro tax) that has affected investment needs to be corrected,” Mr. Godrej said. “Some steps have already been taken and we hope that the Shome Committee report will be implemented shortly,” he said.

He said that high fiscal deficit was a matter of worry and the government must cut down fuel subsidies and carry forward its disinvestment programme.

“The economy cannot revive without foreign investment. The government must open up FDI in multi-branded retail, aviation and insurance. The biggest reform will be the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST), and there has to be reform at state levels as well,” Mr. Godrej said.

He said politics should not stand on the way of economic growth without which the inclusive growth agenda could not be carried forward.

On high interest regime, the CII said that it was hurting growth and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) must bring down interest rates by 1 per cent apart from reducing Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) by 1 per cent to free up capital.

The CII believed that the economy needed to be rescued, and it was important to act now to avoid getting into a worse phase.

Reiterating his stance on the coal field allotment scam, Mr. Godrej said that there should not be arbitrary cancellations only on political demand.