Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, Feb 08, 2002

News
Features
Stocks
Port Info
Archives

Group Sites

Industry & Economy - Economy


Chambers for more reforms

Our Bureau

KOLKATA, Feb. 7

WELCOMING the slew of measures announced by the Government on Tuesday, like offering of VRS to Government employees, decontrol of sugar, pruning of items covered by the Essential Commodities Act and the new pharma policy as a step in the right direction, the Indian Chamber of Commerce, Calcutta, has called for bolder measures to complete the "unfinished agenda for reform in Budget 2002-03."

In a statement issued here today, Mr A.V. Lodha, President of the chamber, said far greater reforms for internal liberalisation would be needed to achieve the Prime Minister's vision of a 8-9 per cent GDP growth.

On the move to offer VRS, he said labour reforms must get priority to ensure that industry was able to utilise the nation's manpower more effectively to build competitiveness. He felt that though a start was made with some announcements in the last Union Budget, the legislative changes were still due.

Complimenting the Government for taking bold steps in the area of PSU disinvestment, Mr Lodha expected the process to continue and provide a stimulus for growth in the different sectors. Describing the move to announce sugar decontrol as timely, he said it has to be essentially accompanied by the setting up of a system for futures trading, without which the decontrol would not be effective.

According to the ICC chief, it was imperative that India now moves towards establishing Commodity Exchanges, as prevalent all over the world. This, he felt, would also require the setting up of a regulatory body to monitor the exchanges and provide the necessary checks and balances to the system. The removal of cement, silk textiles and other items from ECA would help in eliminating market distortions, he pointed out.

Stating that the vision to achieve an 8-9 per cent growth could be possible only if a larger population in the country was empowered to earn, save, spend and invest, Mr Lodha said unless the capacity to earn and save was enhanced, GDP growth would continue to remain below the 6 per cent level.

"This would require fiscal reforms in the Budget 2002-03 to ensure that disposable incomes are enhanced, thereby giving a fillip to spending in the economy.

He pointed out that China was aggressively pursuing a programme of heavy spending to ensure high growth in the economy. Internal reforms, he felt, were critical if Indian industry is to enhance its competitiveness.

According to Mr Sushil Dhandhania, President, Merchants Chamber of Commerce, with the removal of dozens of items from the purview of ECA and doing away with the requirement of licensing of dealers and restrictions on storage and movement of a number of essential food items, the reforms process has truly entered the internal trade sector.

Send this article to Friends by E-Mail

Stories in this Section
Dumping duty on paracetamol recommended


FIs, banks seek redefinition of interest exemptions
Pay hikes seen hitting rock bottom: Survey
Chambers for more reforms
New tech to cut power station emissions
`Corporate sector must have role in eco development'
US keen on closer trade ties
India, Russia sign protocol for economic co-operation
Free trade urged
Hotels post 60 pc drop in forex earnings
Swiss pharma cos seek IPR protection
Drug price control order `sketchy'
Bitter challenges of a free market
Govt relief for more textile mill workers
SSIs to get MDA support for bar-coding registration
A school for Cyberabad's elite
Specialty Ranbaxy seeks norms for pathological labs
Tanners face uncertainty as relocation deadline nears
A swap deal worth trying?
Nasscom signs MoU with Italian association
Insat-3C at home
Price bids for Paradeep Phos today
`Stronger global IPRs will impact foreign investment'
Narrowing the digital divide in rural areas
`Quality in agro-products key to develop exports'


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | Home |

Copyright 2002, The Hindu Business Line. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu Business Line