"We agree with the Prime Minister that a turnaround in manufacturing has yet to be achieved while the persistence of inflation continues to be a problem," CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said after Singh's press conference.
"Increase in food supplies as also improved marketing and logistic support are crucial to rein in inflation especially pertaining to food prices," he added.
Referring to the issue of job creation, Singh said the government had not been able to do as well as it would have liked to and was working "hard" to improve the situation.
"We fully share the PM's concerns that there has not been enough generation of employment in the economy. At the end of the day, we cannot have jobs without growth," Ficci President Sidharth Birla said.
Admitting the government's failure to contain inflation, Singh also said that high prices have helped farmers and asserted that the country was heading for better times.
"Food inflation can be tackled through actions addressing supply-side bottlenecks including through better logistics. The country also requires amendment of APMC Act by all states and at least the UPA-led states can immediately address this," Birla said.
Assocham President Rana Kapoor said: "The manufacturing sector could not generate the desired number of jobs. The reason for this was economic slowdown, coupled with lack of determined policies to give a great push to the manufacturing. SMEs hold the key to job creation, which should be encouraged."
On this issue, the Prime Minister had said, "We need a much stronger effort in support of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which can be a major source of good quality employment. Our manufacturing strategy gives high priority to this objective for the future."
Elaborating on the steps needed to encourage SMEs, PHD Chamber of Commerce President Sharad Jaipuria said: "Efficiency and competitiveness of the MSMEs through continuous technology innovation, quality improvement, easy access to finance, diversification into new markets, better infrastructural facilities and skill up gradation must be addressed".