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HindustanTimes Wed,20 Aug 2014

CEOs optimistic about Modi govt's maiden budget

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 04, 2014
First Published: 23:25 IST(4/7/2014) | Last Updated: 19:40 IST(5/7/2014)

Here’s some good news: a little more than four out of ten (42%) companies expect to increase their levels of hiring this year. Another 42% expect to maintain hiring levels at last year’s levels. This means more jobs will be available in 2014-15.

This was among the findings of the Hindustan Times-MaRS CEO Survey, which shows that Indian industry is both optimistic and cautious and very pragmatic in its expectations.

Two-thirds of Indian CEOs expect the economy to grow at between 5% and 6% this year. And an overwhelming 81% feel the India growth story will return to an 8%-plus trajectory only in 2016-17 or later.

“The budget should increase the confidence of entrepreneurs to do business in India. It should be pro-growth and should contain a roadmap for the reforms to be implemented over the next five years,” said Harsh Goenka, chairman, RPG Group.

Apart from corruption and red tape, Indian industry has clearly identified retrospective tax as a major impediment. Three-fourth feel it will be scrapped in this budget, while an overwhelming nine out of 10 industrialists want it junked.

“India needs a clear implementation plan for sustained 10%-plus growth (target: 2020 under given conditions) and this must translate into broad-based income generation. Otherwise we will have permanently missed the bus to become a developed nation,” said Sidharth Birla, president, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

“The two important road maps Indian industry expects from the budget are infrastructure development and measures to accelerate industrial growth. The two governance measures to achieve these are steps to tackle corruption and cutting red tapes to facilitate decision making at the highest levels,” said Raghu Roy, managing director, MaRS.



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