The Indian economy has demonstrated its resilience and continuation of positive optimism during last year. While various policy changes are already issued by the government to drive reforms, the Indian industry is keenly awaiting the announcement of positive legislative reforms to be passed at the earliest — such as GST, the Real Estate Regulatory Bill and Land Acquisition Bill, among others.
GST will impart an immense boost to economic activity across India and also transform universal sentiment, fostering further the positive perceptions about India as a robust investment destination. Positive steps in this direction will boost infrastructure improvement and growth.
Meanwhile, as Smart Cities programme gathers momentum with recent confirmation of 20 cities in the first phase, higher budget allocations will be most welcome to ensure faster implementation of projects on ground across the country.
To provide 24x7 electricity, the government has taken several policy measures and landmark decisions for generation of power, strengthening of transmission and distribution, separation of feeders and metering of power to consumers.
The innovative initiatives taken and policies floated by the government in the sphere of renewables is laudable as well. But the industry is yet to experience the benefits of the same in terms of orders growth from faster execution of these projects.
Additional tax incentives for power producers, particularly in renewables, are welcome. It is expected that the government will introduce additional measures along the lines of UDAY (Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana) in order to tackle the debt problems of power distributors as well as producers.
Finally, the government needs to focus on monitoring the speed of implementation of the reforms and policy measures because the success of all initiatives would depend solely on proper and faster implementation.
These measures will not only support the Indian industry but also benefit the manufacturing footprint via ‘Make in India’ as well as ' Digital India’ initiatives through growth of data centres and networking, among others.
(The author is the Managing Director and Country President of Schneider Electric India)