Developing a comprehensive manufacturing policy to facilitate industry and government to achieve high growth rate tops the agenda of Harsh C Mariwala, the newly-elected president of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). He believes that the share of manufacturing sector in GDP is required to grow from 16-25% in the next few years and plans to evolve a 10-year road map towards manufacturing growth. Excerpts:
What are you planning to do to reshape the agenda of FICCI?
We will set up macro economic mission to influence policy, procedure amendments or new introductions and to fuel speedy and smooth implementations. FICCI will engage with the government on goods and services tax (GST) and direct tax code (DTC) to ensure a smooth transition into the regimes and to create a roadmap ahead.
Edible oil industry is facing a sluggish demand. When will it recover?
The long-term demand for edible oil is bullish. There has been a temporary cooling down of bullish trends in the last couple of months due to a combination of factors. We expect prices to be softer in the coming months. However, any sharp increase in crude oil prices will reverse the trend.
What is your opinion on FDI in retail?
FDI in multi brand retailing and 100% opening up of the sector is inevitable from growth perspective.
Industry is depending too much on government stimulus. Is this good for the economy's health?
While the stimulus cannot go on forever, it needs to be continued till economic recovery takes firm roots. The three installment stimulus package offered opportunity to many industries. It may be continued for another few months and could be linked with the introduction of GST.
Are you happy with the labour environment and labour laws?
The current labour laws are rigid. It calls for a fresh set of reforms. This will fuel investments and industrialisation.