As the month-long winter session of Parliament begins from November 22, the Indian industry is looking upto the country’s political leadership to help steer the economy out of the present problems which have huge impact on an ordinary Indian citizen.
The apex industry body ASSOCHAM in a statement said, after showing a nine-year low growth of 6.5% in the financial year 2011-12, our economy may not grow more than 6% in the current financial year. The 6% growth projection itself is seen as the optimistic one. While the government thinks that the economy may not expand beyond 6% in 2012-13, different organizations including multi-lateral institutions project the current year's growth prospects between 5 and 6%.
ASSOCHAM president Rajkumar Dhoot, "Given the precarious state of global economy, even five-six per cent growth cannot be taken for granted. We need to work for it. The global environment is quite negative the entire Euro zone has slipped into recession again and the impact would be seen directly on India’s exports to European Union, the country's biggest export destination.
There are mixed and confusing signals from the US where the administration is finding it difficult to balance between the growing fiscal issues and reviving growth. Japan, another big major economy on the global landscape is in equally bad shape, while China is more of our import source than export destination.
Under these circumstances, we need to depend more on our domestic demand and investment push for revival of economic growth. Barring a last couple of months, where the government is trying hard to regain the investor confidence and revive the consumer demand, our economy has suffered not only from the external issues but mainly the domestic policy and legislative constraints.
Our cherished institution of Parliament has a major role in sending a strong signal that when it comes to national issues, the parties of different hues and ideologies can rise and support them. We are a great believer in the institution of Parliament."
The ASSOCHAM Chief further said several of the initiatives announced in the recent few weeks like raising foreign direct investment in the insurance sector and reforming the pension sector would need bi-partisan support in Parliament. Besides, the major bills such the Direct Tax Code and the Goods and Services Tax have the potential to boost the investor confidence and revive the appetite from global investors into India -both in the portfolio as also the FDI.
Though the FDI in retail does not need any legislative approval, the measure would remain on paper if it does not enjoy a wider political support throughout the country. Different political parties ruling in different states need to come on board to facilitate entry of global chains which will integrate India’s unorganized supply chain into modern distribution network and cut wastages worth billions of dollars.
Some of the important bills like the GST are the Constitution Amendment Bills would require an overwhelming support in Parliament for passage.
"We, in the ASSOCHAM, appeal to all political parties to fully participate in the Parliamentary debates and discuss all the legislative and non-legislative issues threadbare. If there are issues and drawbacks in the draft legislations, we need to point them to the government. But let the debates lead finally passages of these vital Bills which have a huge implications for the real economy where at stakes are millions of jobs.
As it is, several of the sectors like textiles, manufactured exports, gems and jewellery, handicrafts, banking and real estate have come under stress. If we do not intervene immediately, there is a fear of job losses, which we can ill-afford, moreso when the global economy is in a mess and we need to look inward."
ASSOCHAM has always worked both with the government and different stakeholders, including the national and regional political parties, trade unions and the civil society. We would appeal to all these stakeholders to make the best of the Winter Session of Parliament so that the chill of the slowdown is converted into a warm economic vibrancy.