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PM's `new deal': India Inc responds positively

Our Bureau

New Delhi , June 25

INDIA Inc has welcomed the vision presented by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, in his broadcast to the nation on Thursday. He had spoken about the growth of India based on social and economic equity.

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) President, Mr Y.K. Modi, observed that the two basic planks of Dr Singh's "new deal" are job creation and revival of the rural economy. Larger public investment in the agriculture sector, ambitious food for work programmes and other actions mentioned in the address would metamorphose the rural economy by nurturing a more favourable environment for growth of the rural economy and income generation, he said.

The FICCI further felt that Dr Singh has touched a chord with his commitment to turn India into a "single market" by dismantling all internal barriers to trade. In fact, these barriers distorted the entire domestic market and resulted in pockets of plenty and scarcities.

Mr Sunil Kant Munjal, President, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) pointed out that while the Indian economy was on a growth path and demand was rising across many sectors, the Government needed to address four key challenges to ensure sustainable and equitable growth over the next decade. These were - the challenge of building world-class infrastructure, the challenge of improving agricultural growth, the challenge of empowering the youth and creating adequate employment opportunities and the challenge of continuously enhancing international competitiveness.

"Having delineated its sensitivities, the Government would do well to bring out a detailed strategy for implementing the measures outlined in the speech. It would be desirable to put the strategy to public debate first to bring about clarity and acceptability at all levels," Mr Ravi Wig, President, PHDCCI, said.

The renewed emphasis on correcting the growing hiatus of imbalances between the urban and rural areas through an impetus to agriculture, including the creation of a common market for agro products as well as provision of infrastructure has the full support of the chamber. However, it would be beneficial if the agriculture sector is modernised and organised as an economic activity, Mr Wig said.

The Assocham President, Mr Mahendra K. Sanghi, welcomed the announcement made by Dr Singh reiterating the Government's commitment in continuation of reforms, which according to him will further strengthen the Government's credibility both within and outside the country. Mr Sanghi also endorsed its concern and priority for improving the plight of the rural sector including its agriculture, which in the past did not receive adequate attention of policy makers.

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