New Delhi - India Inc on Monday hailed the Economic Survey 2017-18 as "pragmatic" and being on the dot in identifying agriculture, education and employment as the key priority areas.
The Survey tabled in Parliament on Monday by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley addressed various reforms and issues like the Goods and Services Tax (GST), non-performing assets (NPAs) and bank recapitalisation, which according to industry observers will give a boost to the economy in the coming years.
Given below is how the captains of Indian industry reacted to the Survey.
Sandeep Jajodia, President, Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM):
"Economic Survey for 2017-18 has brought out areas of concern such as rising NPAs of the public sector banks and has underlined the need, and rightly so, for putting maximum emphasis on creating new jobs, agriculture and education. The Survey has brought out the issue of bad assets of the PSU banks. While the Insolvency resolution mechanism has begun in the right earnest, a big vigil needs to be kept and the banks must be given additional capital at the earliest."
Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII):
"The Survey provides new ideas for building a positive momentum for growth in the coming year and for faster growth thereafter. CII commends the pragmatic and extensive document that effectively captures the achievements and challenges of the economy. The Survey delineates a long-term vision for powering the emergence of a New India which is both transformative and socially inclusive."
Anil Khaitan, President, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI):
"The focus of the government in the medium term on employment, education and agriculture is encouraging and would foster a sustainable economic environment going forward. The agenda for the next year is inspiring as it includes stabilising the GST, completing the 'twin balance sheet' actions, privatising Air India and staving off threats to macro-economic stability. Going ahead, there is a need to focus on rapid improvement of human capital and agricultural productivity to sustain growth trajectory."
Rashesh Shah, President, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (Ficci):
"The country has seen major structural reforms in 2017-18 such as the GST, Insolvency Code and bank recapitalisation which will boost the economy in the coming years. The economy will start reaping benefits of these reforms in the next fiscal year and we look forward to continuity in the reforms process displayed by the government. This optimism is also reflected in the improved ratings of India by the Moody's and the country's rating in the World Bank's ease of doing business index.
"The Government has been pro-actively working towards further improvement in GST structure. We look forward to convergence to fewer tax slabs and inclusion of all sectors within GST."
Arun M. Kumar, Chairman and CEO, KPMG in India,
"The Survey drew attention to the fact that states' tax collections are rising faster than the overall rate of increase. The Survey articulates how policy reforms are leading to actual progress and notes that the economy is back on an accelerating growth track."
On specific sectors, the industry observers commented as follows –
Ajay Kakra, Director and Leader - Food and Agriculture, PwC India:
"The small tool industry needs to be boosted for greater penetration of farm mechanisation in the agricultural sector... Further, technology incubators needs to be created for perfecting and commercialisation of technologies in the agricultural sector."
Rajan S. Mathews, Director General, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI):
"The Survey mentions the New Telecom Policy (NTP), which is in the process of being formulated by the government and we hope that the NTP 2018 will address the long-term systemic issues being faced by the sector, such as high regulatory levies, high cost of compliance, multiplicity of audits, financial viability, etc."
Hemalatha Annamalai, Founder and CEO, Ampere Vehicles:
"This (growth in the range of 7-7.5% in fiscal year 2018-19) will be adding to the optimism and energy that electric vehicle industry was looking forward to, to revive the sentiments, to push the market in the wake of enhanced industrial activity and government resolve to promote Make in India and Ease of Doing Business."
Desi Valli, Founder and CEO, Netree:
With the increased push for digital transactions and Ease of Doing Business, the retail industry will have a robust growth and bright future. A mention about the optimism on account of private investment, in the economic survey 2018, is a positive projection for the retail industry."