CII to set up control room to monitor projects work

"We will study the recommendations made by McKinsey in its report on sustaining the growth momentum in south India and set up a control room to keep track of the progress made in executing the various projects, especially in the infrastructure sector," Infosys chief executive and CII (southern region) chairman S. Gopalakrishnan told reporters here.

CII commissioned global management consulting firm McKinsey and Co to conduct a survey of growth prospects and challenges faced by south India and prepare a report for its southern annual regional conference being held here Saturday.

According to the survey, the gross states domestic product (GSDP) growth rate in the four southern states has been declining in recent years, with Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu falling below the national average. The other two states are Kerala and Karnataka.

"We will also consult the respective state governments to form a high-powered steering committee in each state to implement some of the recommendations in the report for overcoming the challenges and leveraging the emerging opportunities to sustain the growth momentum," Gopalakrishnan said on the margins of the day-long regional meeting.

Citing the growth story of Gujarat, which leaped ahead of other states on many indices, including its 11.3 percent gross state domestic product (GSDP) in the past five years (2005-10), attracting investment and creating jobs, McKinsey partner Ananth Narayanan said the southern states have to get their act together if they have to retain the edge and sustain the growth momentum.

"South India has been a major driver of growth in the past decade (2000-10), contributing around 22 percent of the country's GDP and 28 percent of its employment. While the region begins this next decade on a sound footing, a slowdown in its recent growth and growing competition from other states mean that South India must act now to retain its edge," Narayanan told about 200 industry members representing manufacturing and services sectors.

To overcome the challenges dampening the next phase of growth, the industry and state governments have to tackle the bottlenecks faced in physical infrastructure and social infrastructure and ensure sustainable development.

"The stakeholders must focus on cluster-based approach for sustainable development. For instance, Karnataka should facilitate cluster-based growth of the knowledge sector spanning IT and IT-enabled services; Tamil Nadu automobile sector and Andhra Pradesh pharma and biotech sector," Narayana pointed out.

Admitting that time-bound execution of multiple infrastructure projects and implementation of various social schemes for inclusive growth would be critical to growth, Gopalakrishnan said the confederation would prepare quarterly reports on the progress made in the projects and take corrective measures to minimise delays.

The report also advocated a strong academia-industry collaboration to build capacity and scale the clusters to global level with complete value chain on the lines of what Stanford University did to Silicon Valley in spawning entrepreneurs and Michigan University to Detroit in building the American automobile industry.

"Product development and innovation will be critical to develop global hubs in the manufacturing sector spanning diverse products and services. The sector has to also focus on skill development through vocational training to increasing employment opportunities to thousands of youth not opting for professional courses," Narayanan added.

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