The Bharat Chamber of Commerce has prepared an economic agenda for the new government focusing on key issues at a time when the domestic economy and global geopolitical conditions remained strained.
Chamber president Sitaram Sharma emphasised that priority should be to transform the presently stagnating manufacturing and agriculture sectors, two major growth engines of the country’s economy.
The 56-page agenda paper provided suggestions to overcome the challenges.
About West Bengal, Sharma remained optimistic that the strained political relation between the state and Central leaderships in the recent months will not impact the central PSUs’ investment plans here.
“In West Bengal where private investment is not adequate, public investments will hold the key for the state’s development. I hope the projects announced by the Central PSUs in the past Bengal Global Business Summits are not held back and there should not be any discrimination,” he said.
Sharma said he expects Prime Minister Narendra Modi to maintain his commitment toward the development of East and North East for the country’s overall growth story and boost the Act East policy.
“The Centre should plan a defence corridor in West Bengal in collaboration with the state government to push manufacturing in the SME sector. So far, the state government has not taken any initiative in this regard,” Sharma said.
Sharma recalled the country’s poor GDP in the latest January-March, 2019 quarter which was down to 5.8 per cent and there is further distress in the form of withdrawal of duty concessions by the US which would have huge ramification.
Among the Chamber’s suggestions, Sharma urged the government to announce a forward looking Industrial Policy with well-defined road map for growth of the core and other sectors.
“The government and the RBI need to deeply look into this with monetary policy and repo rates,” the report said.
There are gaps in the National Mineral Policy, 2019 that need to be finetuned while one of the major considerations should be to focus on reduction of poverty to a single digit, it said.