Improved governance, strong institutions and a robust social sector to be the key driving forces in leading our economy to higher growth path
(Excerpts from the Vote of Thanks to Finance Minister Mr Arun Jaitley by FICCI President, Mr Sandip Somany at the chamber’s 91st AGM inaugural session)
We all know, Mr Arun Jaitley is one of the most eminent and acclaimed leaders of India. He has been instrumental in setting the direction for India’s economic policies over the years. He is the key architect behind major structural reforms like GST, RERA and IBC. Getting these reforms introduced and implemented has been an onerous task. It required a lot of patience; a lot of persuasion and outreach to explain to the people the significance of these measures and how these would strengthen the trajectory of India’s progress and development.
The way Mr Jaitley led from the front and built consensus for reform measures and was able to bring all states and all political parties on board is highly commendable. The government and the Ministry of Finance have been extremely responsive to the implementation challenges that were encountered and through continuous and regular interaction with industry, most of the issues involved, particularly in GST, have been resolved to a great extent.
Likewise, IBC has led to a major change in the credit culture in India and is going to be a key law for addressing NPA problems of the banks.
Besides the economic sphere, we see a revolution taking place in the social sphere as well. The country has embarked on the largest skill development mission seen anywhere in the world. In the healthcare sector, the Ayushman Bharat program is unique in more ways than one. Whether it is provision of an LPG connection in the rural areas or the target to connect not just villages, but every household with electricity, our government under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji has been ambitious both in planning and in delivery of socio-economic outcomes.
FICCI has always supported the development agenda of the Government and will continue to do so in the future as well. FICCI is engaged in work for empowering persons with disabilities. FICCI is also involved in enabling SC/ST entrepreneurs to scale up their businesses and connect them to larger industries (both domestic and global). We are undertaking capacity building programmes for MSMEs to help them use e-commerce platforms for reaching out to export markets.
We are aligned with the Prime Minister’s initiative for clean energy. FICCI is the secretariat of the Global Leadership Task Force of Corporates on Innovation. Likewise, we are actively associated with Clean India initiative – FICCI has set up the India Sanitation Coalition, FICCI has also constituted an Ayushman Bharat Committee with the aim to work collaboratively with the government to drive this aspirational reform in healthcare with effective engagement of the private sector.
While FICCI will continue with its efforts across sectors for making Indian industry and economy more competitive, there are a few areas where I plan to lay more emphasis and will seek your guidance in the months ahead.
These would include –
- Strengthening the eco-system including policy framework for MSMEs
- Working with industry to streamline the agriculture supply chain and enhance agri-productivity.
- Identifying and exploring solutions for strengthening Innovation and R&D eco-system in the country. The goal would be to improve India’s ranking on the Global Innovation Index, just as India has been able to achieve under the ease of doing business.
- Promote policy focus on reducing the cost of doing business, which I believe is the key criteria for improving competitiveness of Indian industry.
- Engaging more with retailers and traders community and voice their concerns and issues to the policymakers.
- I would also like to engage industry and other stakeholders in the global outreach efforts. We need to make India a magnet for investments, for which we would pro-actively canvas the India Growth Story to foreign investors. Likewise, we would also work towards developing ‘new markets’ for our industry.
- Sir, my request to you would be that before the model code of conduct comes into effect next year, the proposed definition of MSME should be passed and made a law. This definition is excellent and going onto revenue based criteria rather than an investment one encourages induction of new technology and modern processes.
Going forward, improved governance, strong institutions and a robust social sector will be the key driving force in leading our economy to higher growth path with shared prosperity. The government has been working in this direction and FICCI of course will continue working with its members for aligning industry’s activities with the socio-economic development agenda.Tez vikas, sanjhaa samriddhi, nek aur shrestha bharat – these will be the guiding principles I hope to carry forward and work upon during the next twelve months.