May 19, 2014 12:47:07 am
The CII congratulates and welcomes the new government and looks forward to working with it on priority issues such as reviving the economy and spreading development. Indian democracy has delivered once again and the verdict reveals the sense of urgency among voters. The expectations from the new government are multifold, but none more important than reviving the economy and creating livelihood opportunities.
The immediate challenge is to bring down inflation, a tough task if the El Nino impact further pressures food prices upward. Managing agriculture and food supply through short-term measures such as allowing farmers to sell vegetables and fruits in markets of their choice and calibrating food-grain stocks will help keep inflation in check.
An urgent need is to revive private sector investment. Bringing stalled projects on-stream by addressing delays in environmental and administrative clearances could unlock funds already in the pipeline. There should be an institution which is empowered to address issues which come in the way of obtaining state-level project permissions. The upcoming budget would provide the government an opportunity to announce some incentives.
The new government must also proceed on introducing the Goods and Services Tax. It would also be important for the it to keep fiscal consolidation on track. Fuel and fertiliser subsidies in particular should be capped and the practice of rolling over subsidy payments done away with.
— The author is director general, Confederation of Indian Industry
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