Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Hon’ble Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs; Minister of State for Commerce & Industry; and Hon’ble Minister of Civil Aviation, Government of India, in a Webinar on Stimulating the Growth Trajectory of Indian Economy organised by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) said that considering the impact on livelihood, the Government decided to open up the economy in a calibrated manner and as a result now India is on a recovery path. He said that improvement has been seen in economic and business indicators in the recent months such as IHS Markit manufacturing PMI, GST collections, among others. He opined that as the fundamentals are strong, India will be back on pre-COVID levels in January – March 2021.
Agreeing with the viewpoint of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modis ji, Shri Hardeep Sinh Puri said that the challenge posed by the impact of COVID-19 also presents an opportunity. He appreciated the clarion call for AatmaNirbhar Bharat and the unleashing of path breaking reforms for sectors such as coal, mining, agriculture, among others. He said that the agenda of the government is to improve and implement the economic reforms.
Shri Hardeep Singh Puri mentioned that urban programmes, which were conceptualized back in 2014 are nearing completion and it is again the time to begin discussions moving forward. He said that as India will have around 600 million people living in the urban spaces by 2030, therefore, there is a need to build a new India in green and sustainable manner. In reference to the civil aviation sector, he mentioned that there has been a silent growth in number of people travelling by air in last couple of years. In this regard, he informed that the Government is working on building new airports and arranging for new aircrafts to support this growth.
Shri Hardeep Singh Puri stated that the pandemic has given an opportunity to make assessment of the vulnerable sectors of the economy and taking steps for their rejuvenation. He said that the Government is ready to work with the industry to fulfil the gaps in manufacturing sector, whether it relates to physical gap or the policy gap.
Industry body PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) organized Webinar on Stimulating the Growth Trajectory of Indian Economy, today. Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Hon’ble Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs; Minister of State for Commerce & Industry; and Hon’ble Minister of Civil Aviation, Government of India graced the Webinar as the Chief Guest.
Shri Sanjay Aggarwal, President, PHDCCI, appreciated the series of stimulus announcements by the Government in last 8 months and said that these reforms have made recovery sooner than expected He mentioned that while procedural requirements have been relatively reduced and the communication between Government departments has become transparent and hassle free, however, the cost aspect still needs to be relaxed further. He discussed abut the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projection that India will achieve highest volume of exports growth than the top 10 world exporters and suggested that further improvement in logistics infrastructure and trade facilitation measures would enhance India’s exports growth trajectory and create millions of new job opportunities. He stated that robust growth of infrastructure is the key ingredient to realize the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
At this juncture, the Government should consider raising investment funding for the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) through borrowings from overseas markets by issuance of overseas bonds through an SPV that could act as a mega Development Financial Institution- DFI. He suggested that special support to tourism sector is needed, agriculture & rural sector must be at the forefront, focus on twin merit goods of education with skill development and basic health with safety must continue with a longer-term vision; among others to rejuvenate the growth trajectory of Indian economy.
Shri Gopal Jiwarajka, Former President, PHDCCI and Chairman & Managing Director Salora International Ltd, said that the trajectory is the path that determines speed and time to achieve the desired growth. He opined that the process of making India AatmaNirbhar and a manufacturing hub should be looked upon from a different way; India should look at the countries that have succeeded to become a manufacturing hub. He stated that the MSME sector has emerged as a highly vibrant and dynamic sector of the Indian economy over the years, with contribution of around 30% in GDP, 49% in exports and 11 crores in employment.
He suggested that at this juncture, extreme support to MSMEs and Startups is required to help them recover from the daunting impact of pandemic COVID -19. He recommended that value chains of MSMEs should be enhanced, thus, making them more structurally competent to add to their efficiency, share in manufacturing sector, employment generation and the country’s overall export growth momentum. He opined that there is a need to focus upon the creation of employment opportunities for the growing young workforce in the country and the opportunity of demographic advantage must be strategically perceived and bring into play to achieve the Vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
Shri Rajeev Talwar, Former President, PHDCCI and CEO & Whole Time Director, DLF Ltd. said that the recent Diwali period was the best for the real-estate sector on the back of recent Government reform measures and various lucrative announcement for the housing sector. He mentioned that sectors such pharmaceutical, real-estate, among others have received a huge amount of investments through FDI. He opined that recovery in growth trajectory is happening, which needs a little push at this juncture.
He suggested that there will be requirement of around 4 crore houses in cities in the coming times. In this regard, he said that good government investment in rental housing will spur the demand. He appreciated Shri Hardeep Singh Puri ji’s slogan of Best Is Yet To Come and said that it will provide a sentimental base to continue the hard work.
Shri Anil Kumar Chopra, Chairman, Economic Affairs Committee, PHDCCI, said that Government has taken encouraging steps to combat the adverse effects of pandemic COVID-19. He appreciated the government’s openness to receive the suggestions from the industry stakeholders. He mentioned that the government is taking steps to revitalize the economy and remove the hardships of people. He mentioned that industry needs support, industrial confidence needs to be revived, consumers demand needs revival and investment need to be boosted. He mentioned that the real estate plays a pivotal role in economy with its direct and indirect effects, there its facilitation is important. He opined that amid the COVID-19 scenario, the focus on liquidity disbursement to support the businesses and bring back the momentum in the economy is of paramount importance. He stated that as MSME sector has been amongst the most vulnerable sector amid pandemic impact of COVID-19, therefore, further strengthening of Indian economy’s backbone and giving it a growth boosting impetus is crucial, going ahead.
Shri Pradeep Multani ji, Sr. Vice-President, PHDCCI, presented the formal vote of thanks to the esteemed speakers from the Government and industry and thanked them for sparing their valuable time and sharing their valuable insights on the subject in the Webinar. He appreciated the proactive and meaningful reform measures taken up by the Government and said that there are signs of recovery sooner than expected. He opined that there is a need to sustain the momentum of implementing reforms as well as create a more conducive policy environment to make India one of the best destinations to do business.
Other eminent speakers including Prof. (Dr) Gurbachan Singh, Eminent Economist, & Adjunct Faculty, Indian Statistical Institute; Shri Anoop Dhanda, Executive Director (ED), Orient Craft Ltd.; Shri KB Kachru, Chairman Emeritus & Principal Advisor, South Asia at Radisson Hotel Group; Shri Nitin Jain, CEO, Edelweiss Capital; Shri Anil Kumar Chopra, Chairman, Economic Affairs Committee, PHDCCI; Ms Kanika Shriram, Co-Chairperson, Economic Affairs Committee, PHDCCI; and Shri Vikram Singh Mehta, Co-Chairman, Economic Affairs Committee, PHDCCI participated in the Webinar.