Hemmed in by global criticism of stalled reforms in the backdrop of a slowing, high inflation economy, commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma called for a meeting with business leaders next week to thresh out ways to revive the sagging economy, and, possibly, soothe the nerves of angry industrialists.
India’s factory output contracted by 1.8% in June, confirming signs of a crippling industrial slowdown.
“Sharma will hold stakeholder consultations next week in light of the recent index of industrial production figures and the evolving industrial situation,” a ministry statement said.
High food inflation has hit the overall economy and prompted the RBI to raise interest rates to suppress prices. Currently, high interest rates have made borrowing costlier for firms, which do much of their business on short-term loans.
Sharma will first meet the industry chambers like FICCI and CII along with Federation of Indian Export Organisations.
He has also called a meeting of the government-industry task force to review the situation and suggest remedial measures, the statement said. “The task force is the established mechanism of obtaining inputs from the captains of the industry in the policy making process.”
Sharma met finance minister P Chidambaram on Thursday.