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Video story | Corporate India hails UPA victory; hopes faster reforms

Video story | Corporate India hails UPA victory; hopes faster reforms
PTI
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First Published: Sun, May 17 2009. 12 49 AM IST
Updated: Sun, May 17 2009. 12 49 AM IST
New Delhi: India Inc on Saturday welcomed the poll verdict in favour of the UPA, saying the mandate is for a stable government that could pursue the economic reforms faster without worrying about the Left and “hotch-potch” partners.
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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% to 49%.
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, CII 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% 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 7% 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% to the country’s GDP.
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First Published: Sun, May 17 2009. 12 49 AM IST