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India Inc jubilant, expects fast reforms

Source: PTI
May 16, 2009 16:24 IST
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India Inc has welcomed the poll verdict in favour of the United Progressive Alliance, saying the mandate is for a stable government that could pursue the economic reforms faster without worrying about the Left and 'hotch-potch' partners.

Apex business chambers and leading industry leaders said the UPA's decisive win was a verdict for the continuity of the Manmohan Singh government.

Noted industrialist and UB group head Vijay Mallaya said victory by the Congress-led coalition "is a vote for stability. UPA need not worry about hotch-potch partners. Congress can clearly pursue its policies without the need to convince the Left."

FICCI president Harsh Pati Singhania said, "The industry is happy that we have a verdict which is clear and not fractured. This will help the government take quick and decisive action."

Happy that stability and continuity has been ensured by outcome of the elections to the 15th Lok Sabha, Singhania said, "Industry is now expecting faster reforms in the areas such as pensions, insurance, banking, education reforms, retail and labour reforms."

There could have been a rethinking on pension and insurance reforms had UPA not returned with a convincing victory, Singhania said.

The UPA government, which depended on Left support for over four years, could not bring about reforms in the areas of pension and insurance.

The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Bill, introduced in Lok Sabha in 2005 could not be passed.

However, the government did a smart thing by introducing the insurance reforms bill in the Rajya Sabha towards the fag-end of its tenure to keep the draft legislation alive.

The bill seeks to raise FDI cap in insurance from 26 per cent to 49 per cent.

Assocham described the Lok Sabha election results "a vote for development" and hoped that UPA government would continue its social and economic agenda for inclusive growth.

Assocham president Sajjan Jindal said the government's flagship job guarantee programme seemed to have made a great impact in favour of UPA.

After an anxious last week when there was a speculation of a close race between the NDA and the UPA, the Confederation of Indian Industry got satisfaction in the fact that the process of government formation would be quick enough.

"It is a decisive victory. What the country needs is a stability and not uncertainty. There will be a quick formation of the government which is significant for the country and the economy," CII director general Chandrajit Banerjee said.

Growing by an average 9 per cent in the last four years, India has emerged as the second-fastest expanding economy in the world after China.

However, under the impact of the global downturn, the economic expansion started decelerating since October 2008 with the previous fiscal estimated to have witnessed less than seven per cent growth.

The industry would like increased public spendings for getting the economy back on the fast track.

"(The) government needs to increase public spending to drive inclusive growth. . . there has to be a strong focus on infrastructure development, healthcare and education. There is also a need to address crisis of economic confidence," pharmaceutical major Ranbaxy Lab managing director and CEO Malvinder Mohan Singh said.

Exporters, who are facing a tough time due to the global economic downturn, are pinning their hopes on the UPA government.

Federation of Indian Export Organisations president A Sakthivel said exporters would soon present the government an action plan to deal with the crisis in the export sector.

Job-oriented export sector contributes close to 20 per cent to the country's GDP.

Meanwhile, Bengal's industry too welcomed the UPA victory, saying that it expects the next five years to be stable and friendly.

Industry is happy for the UPA which provided a stable government for the last five years and expected a similar positive trend to continues, Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry senior vice president Sandipan Chakrabarty said.

"The Left Front which pioneered the Third Front is totally out of the race and will have limited power in opposing Delhi. So reforms which were suffering will now materialise," he said.

Speaking about West Bengal, Chakrabarty said industry will have adopt a wait-and-watch policy as the state may not get a very good support from the Centre.

RPG Enterprises vice chairman Sanjiv Goenka while praising Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi said, "It is a Congress and allies wave who are sweeping the nation and West Bengal is no exception." It is a vote for stability and a vote for continuity, he added.

Dunlop India and Jessop chairman Pawan K Ruia said the results were an indication to economic revitalisation.

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