MUMBAI: India Inc has a loud and clear massage for Narendra Modi, the PM-designate: instill business confidence and revive growth though tough policy decisions to herald a “golden era of change”. Most industry leader’s that TOI spoke to believe that this decisive victory is enough to give Modi a free hand to formulate industry-friendly strategies and bring the country back on a high-growth trajectory and make India an easier place to do business in.
Besides, good governance, development, bold policies, job creation and inclusive growth, India Inc wants Modi to implement second-generation economic reforms like GST & DTC, expedite stalled infrastructure projects and resolve iron ore and coal mining issues.
Hinduja Group chairman Srichand P Hinduja described Modi’s massive mandate as a vote for stability that will put India on the path of high growth. “The election results will lend to political stability, high economic growth and will help revive the investment climate,” said Hinduja, calling Modi a decisive and strong-minded leader whose experienced leadership augurs well for India.
Suzlon Group chairman Tulsi Tanti said, “We believe the BJP-led government will provide an environment conducive for growth and investments, with major reforms in infrastructure and energy sector. This is important as India’s economic environment will act as a catalyst in reviving the global economy.”
T V Narendran, MD, India and South East Asia, Tata Steel looks forward to clarity on policy and a commitment to strong action that will help the steel and mining industry to play its part with the government in enabling India’s all-round growth.
Anil Chaudhry, Schneider Electric India’s country president and managing director, said, “We look forward to policies that will bolster infrastructure development in India, acting as an engine of growth, creating thousands of new jobs and pushing up GDP growth, while lowering poverty levels and bringing alive our collective dream of inclusive growth.”
With the new hope for sustained growth, Spice Global plans to invest about $2 billion in its key business ventures Smart Health City and Smart City, according to its chairman Bhupendra Kumar Modi. “As we inaugurate a new government, we look forward to development, good governance at state and central government, better economic focus, thereby building India as a smart country, We are hopeful that the BJP-led government will bring more infrastructure development, modernization and liberalization,” said Modi.
Motilal Oswal, CMD, Motilal Oswal Financial Services, said the BJP-led government should listed out the priorities before the new government: “First would be settling down with a credible ministry and cabinet. Second, would be to present a Budget that “stays on fiscal consolidation path and yet creates room for business confidence to revive and growth to be nudged upwards.” It should also “take up the pending reforms, including tax reforms (GST/DTC), energy pricing, SEB losses”. and setting the ground rules for mining, land, labour and environment.”
For the insurance sector, Rajesh Sud, CEO & MD, Max Life Insurance, wants the new government to implement the long-pending insurance amendment bill and an additional tax incentive of Rs 1.5 lakh to life insurance and Rs 1 lakh for retirement plans.
“The focus must be on improving Indian businesses’ competitiveness, especially in the manufacturing sector and making India an easier place to do business in To the global community, the message must be that India means business and it is back on the growth path,” said Harsh Pati Singhania, director J K Organisation and MD JK Paper. He expects the new government to restore economic growth along with job creation and improved prosperity for India’s citizens.
Roopa Kudva, CEO & MD, CRISIL, believes that the lowest-hanging fruits are fast-tracking of projects in the pipeline and resolving iron ore and coal mining issues. “This will improve the efficiency of capital that is now stuck, pave the way for better returns on investment, create jobs, lift income growth and spur private consumption demand,” said Kudva.
Sunil Kaushal, regional CEO, India & South Asia, Standard Chartered Bank, said the new government is being formed at a good time: leading economies are showing growth, CAD is under control, the rupee is relatively strong and there’s a low risk of downgrade. “It’s also the beginning of a cyclical upturn; challenges are largely internal and manageable. It’s important to accelerate clearance of stalled projects, so that these start generating cash flows”.
Resolution of payments stuck with the administration will also release cash into the system, with a significant trickle-down impact for smaller players.”
He said while reduction in fuel subsidy should continue, food and other subsidies cannot be done away with completely and Aadhaar implementation should be taken to its logical conclusion.
Several CEOs feel infrastructure would be key
Hemant Kanoria, CMD, Srei Infrastructure Finance, said, “Urgent capacity addition in infrastructure is the only way forward now.” This can set in motion a virtuous cycle, which will stimulate domestic demand and increase productive capacity of the economy, thereby helping the economy creep back to a high-growth trajectory in a few years’ time.”
Quite naturally, the entire infrastructure fraternity is looking forward to having a government at the Centre which is capable of reinvigorating the sector by taking some quick decisive action.”
Stressing on need to sortout infrastructure clearances, Sanjiv Bajaj, MD & CEO, Bajaj Finserv, said, “All our governments know the right thing to be done but what they need is the strength of conviction to execute and that is what I hope the new government will have.”
(With inputs from Mayur Shetty)