Centre assures industry of quick policy clearances

Centre assures industry of quick policy clearances

The government will soon come out with policy decisions to perk up stalled investment and major financial sector reforms, including foreign direct investment, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said.

“I have already said that the government will take decisions based on industry and investor expectations... We hope that in the next three weeks, there will be decisions by the government, which will bring about a positive improvement,” he said after a government-industry task force meeting here.

There are widespread concerns over the consistently declining industrial production in the past few months, as also the lack of capital formation, which is slowly acquiring a social dimension.

India’s industrial output plummeted to -1.8 per cent in July, piling pressure on the government to jump-start the reform process and revive investment.

Sharma said the government is consulting stakeholders on the gamut of issues affecting the industry and economy as a whole. The industry captains have raised the issue of cost of credit, which is on a higher side due to high interest rates in India, he said, adding that the government is committed to taking appropriate action.

“The economic activity must continue and therefore, the easy availability of affordable credit to industry registers with us. I have in the past taken this up with the Finance Minister and RBI. In other countries, the cost of credit has been brought down, therefore, we need to seriously consider and take an early view on this,” Sharma said.

Banks have also maintained they were witnessing low demand from corporates due to high rates of interest on banking loans. The industry bodies, however, said the government needed to look at macro management rather than micro management to prop up the economy.

While CII President Adi Godrej emphasised on the need for procedural reforms and faster clearances of industrial projects, Ficci president R V Kanoria saidm the government should ensure political consensus and tackle uncertainties dogging the economy in earnest.

Meanwhile, India Inc also met Finance Minister P Chidambaram and demanded lower interest rates, investment stimulus and clarity in tax laws to tide over the declining manufacturing sector growth.

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