Among the important issues that the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) would like the government to address are, governance overall will be a focus area, particularly given the new Companies Bill, including understanding the implications of corporate social responsibility (CSR) spending guidelines.
More specific areas of focus are :
l The goods and services tax (GST) is long overdue. We view GST as a game changer for Indian industry and economy. The government should continuously engage with the state governments and ensure that its implemented in the country at the earliest.
l The new land Bill has been passed by the cabinet. Industry has some apprehensions with regard to the land Bill and we hope that its concerns will be taken on board and that it will be reviewed. The process of land acquisition also needs to be fast-tracked.
l The government has announced a new National Manufacturing Policy. It should now focus on speedy implementation. The central government should work with the state governments to expedite the setting up of the national investment and manufacturing zones (NIMZs).
l Agriculture development across regions and crops should be pursued on a project-mode basis. Public-private partnerships should be encouraged and the private sector should be leveraged to bring improvement in extension services, sharing of best practices with farmers, improving supply chain infrastructure and marketing networks. Ficci has worked with the ministry of agriculture and evolved guidelines for public-private participation (PPP) in integrated agriculture development. To make this work, the central government should work with the state governments to amend the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act.
l Increasing production of coal is imperative as this has a direct bearing on power generation and industrial growth. The coal sector should see greater competition with private-sector players being given the opportunity to participate in it in a larger manner. Ficci has been recommending that it’s time for Coal India Ltd’s monopoly to be reviewed and steps initiated to privatize it.
l The cabinet has endorsed reforms in the insurance and the pensions sector. Both the Bills need parliamentary approval. The government should introduce these Bills in the next session of Parliament and work with all parties to see their passage.