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Labour Reforms Are In Pipeline Says NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant

He argued that despite all the talk of a slowdown, the fundamentals of the Indian economy were intact.

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‘Jo Dar Gaya, Samjho Mar Gaya’, Babul Supriyo, Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, told industry leaders gathered at the National Management Convention organized by All India Management Association (AIMA).

“This government wants to add 'sholay' to the Indian economy,” he said. He asked the industry to not get into fear-mongering. “There are good days and bad days,” he said and assured that the entire cabinet was working hard to change the mind of the people about the slowdown.

Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog argued that despite all the talk of a slowdown, the fundamentals of the Indian economy were intact. He reminded that the fiscal and trade account deficits, as well as inflation, were still low.

Kant listed asset monetization, PSU divestment, agriculture reforms including market reforms, mining and coal sector reforms were due soon. He mentioned that labour reforms were in an advanced stage of formulation.

“India needs to go not merely to $5 trillion economy in five years but $10 trillion economy by 2030. India’s ambition should be to grow 8 - 8.5 per cent year after year for three decades,” Kant said.

A panel of economic editors debated the causes of the slowdown and the possible means to turn things around. Sunil Jain, Managing Editor, The Financial Express, argued that so long as the policies were fundamentally flawed and there was tax terror, ease of doing business would not get investors excited. He recommended privatization of government land and PSUs to generate the enormous funds required for welfare spending. “In the past few years, the government could fund welfare with oil price bonanza but now it has to pay from the budget,” he said.

TK Arun, Consulting Editor, The Economic Times said that liquidity and capital shortage was a non-issue for the Indian economy as the rich countries were running negative interest rates and were looking for opportunities for decent returns anywhere. “They will come to India if we could guarantee corporate governance and credibility of policies and practices”, he said. He argued that Indian economy had become divorced from the politics. “Whatever the level of economic distress, it does not affect the political fortunes of political parties,” he said.

Sanjay Gupta, CEO & Editor, Dainik Jagran insisted that pulling up the economy was not just the job of the government. “It is also the job of the consumer who has to come out and spend and not just save money or buy more gold,” he said.

M K Venu, Editor, The Wire, pointed out that India’s saving rate had fallen by 5 per cent in the past few years and the gold held by households and temples, which was 40 per cent of the GDP, had to be used for developing the economy. He said that the government and industry did not trust each other and it was not a good sign that the finance minister had to repeatedly assure the investors and entrepreneurs that the tax department would not harass them. “If the gap between welfare spending and wealth creation got any wider, it would be big trouble”, he said.

Sunil Kant Munjal, Past President AIMA & Chairman, Hero Enterprise suggested that the government needed to create simple policies and allow competition but be available as a safety net.

The 46th National Management Convention ended with a change of guard at the All India Management Association (AIMA). Sanjay Kirloskar, Chairman and Managing Director, Kirloskar Brothers is the new President of AIMA. Harsh Pati Singhania Vice Chairman & Managing Director, JK Paper is the new Senior Vice President of AIMA and CK Ranganathan, Founder and Chairman of CavinKare is the new Vice President of the organization.

The two-day National Management Convention is highlighting the role of innovation in making India a $5 trillion economy and fostering a culture and capability of innovation in the country. The convention is being addressed by leading members of the government, renowned CEOs, startup founders, distinguished economists and leading writers on business and economy. More than 700 entrepreneurs, executives and management experts are attending the convention.


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