Mr. Rakesh Bharti Mittal, President, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), complimented the Government on its wide-ranging reforms and said that industry should strategise for investments now. India's economic environment has begun to improve due to introduction of major reforms such as GST, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, fixed term employment and so on. Industry must respond positively and undertake investments to sustain the recovery, stated Mr Mittal at his first press conference after assuming charge as CII President.
The new CII President said that CII has evolved a strong agenda for industry under the Theme for the year of 'India RISE: Responsible. Inclusive. Sustainable. Entrepreneurial.' This theme dovetails with the Government's priorities as per the reforms already completed. Comprehensive new initiatives under each of these sub-themes were outlined.
Noting CII's projections for growth in the coming year, Mr Mittal added, CII expects India's GDP to grow at 7.3 - 7.7% during 2018-19. This is based on strengthening demand in the rural economy, including agriculture and non-farm activities, as well as better global growth climate.
There are some macro challenges like rising oil prices, but that would be more than compensated by improving industrial performance.
Mr Mittal welcomed the policy to extend fixed term employment to all sectors, which CII had recommended. He stressed that in conjunction with this, industry needs to work on retraining and skilling for boosting formal sector employment and should desist from shifting permanent workers to this contract system.
Elaborating on the CII theme, Mr Mittal outlined 10 new CII initiatives under India RISE theme:
1. Voluntary corporate governance codes for large enterprises, small and medium enterprises and financial sector;
2. Promotion of healthcare under Ayushman Bharat;
3. 6 new Model Career Centers to be set up to assist seamless connect of employment and employees;
4. Pilot project for strengthening Grameen Agricultural Markets (GrAM) and logistics corridor for perishables in southern states;
6. Launch of electric vehicles mission and promotion of green buildings;
7. CII-NITI Aayog India Innovation Index to rank states' innovation ecosystems;
8. Task force on reducing air pollution in Delhi NCR;
9. Three new international offices in emerging economies of Myanmar, Vietnam and Indonesia; and
10. Focus on North East and backward districts for skill development, nutrition and investment promotion, among other initiatives.
CII is also taking up new competitiveness services for assisting industry to adopt digital transformation and align with Industry 4.0 technologies. The Digital Transformation Center of Excellence in partnership with Tata Communications will promote Digital India.
CII's Future Business Group is a new initiative to handhold promising enterprises to achieve global scale, said the CII President.
Another initiative mentioned by Mr. Mittal was launch of 'export certifications' which will help enterprises to align with the demands and quality standards of global markets.
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