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CEOS, CFOS bullish on economy

CEOS, CFOS bullish on economy

Indian executives expect the economy to expand at a rapid pace and will also grow their own operations in the next 12 months, but they are concerned about inflation and access to credit according to a survey of 127 chief executive officers (CEOs) and chief financial officers (CFOs) conducted by research firm Penn Schoen Berland for television channel Bloomberg UTV.

Also see | Confidence in economic growth (PDF)

The executives are confident the economy will grow78% in 2011-12, according to the survey, released ahead of the presentation of the Union budget on Monday.

The Indian economy has expanded by at least 8% in the first three quarters of the current fiscal year. This growth story, however, has lost some of its sheen over the government’s inability to combat inflation and corruption in various areas—from the issue of telecom licences in 2008 to the organization of the Commonwealth Games in 2010.

Inflation is a major worry for CEOs and CFOs surveyed, and they said the government needs to focus on agriculture and food supply to bring it down.

Access to credit is another concern for the executives, and many of them said. They would like to see the government doing something to ensure easier access to capital.

Nearly 44% of the executives also said it was time to implement the proposed goods and services tax that will create a unified market across the country; currently, indirect taxes vary across the states. The executives also want to see the government continue with administrative reforms.

The executives were concerned about corruption, and almost one in two named it as a stumbling block on the road to growth, along with poor governance and high food inflation.

None of these issues seem to have dented their ambitions, as with 22% saying they plan to expand globally while 30%want to expand in India. Around 70% of the respondents said they are looking to hire in the next fiscal year.

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