Banks, industry must work together: Anand Sharma
The minister also asked banks to lend to small entrepreneurs, artisans and weavers at affordable costs.
“Economic activity is not an option but a priority and a national imperative,” Sharma said while speaking at the FE Best Banks Awards.
“2012 has been a terrible year both globally and domestically, possibly more challenging than 2008, and the recovery is also more difficult,” the minister said. He observed that if economic activity is not re-energised, there would be social repercussions.
While pointing out that the fundamentals of the Indian economy remained strong, the environment, the minister observed, was full of fear, mistrust and suspicion.
Sharma said the country should focus on its many strengths and cautioned that India should not compete to be the noisiest democracy in the world. “The high savings rate should be channelled into investments,” the minister said.
Sharma observed that the share of manufacturing in GDP is 16% and that it should be taken to 25% by the turn of the decade. The minister added that the government has established integrated manufacturing zones which would facilitate investment through a single window without the problems relating to the acquisition of land since the land would stay vested with the state governments.
Speaking on the forthcoming Union Budget, the minister said it would be challenging for the finance minister to strike a balance between growth and fiscal
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