Ficci Presents Growth-oriented Action Plan To Manmohan

New Delhi, May 30 | Updated: May 31 2004, 05:30am hrs
Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) has presented its action plan to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to spur economic growth in key sectors.

Ficci president YK Modi met the PM on Saturday and drew his attention to key areas such as agriculture, manufacturing, disinvestments, labour and education and emphasised on remedial steps.

On agriculture, Mr Modi emphasised that the sector had been bypassed by reforms and there was an urgent need to de-regulate the farm sector to free the farmers from a plethora of controls that affect income of farmers and price realisation.

Some of the key areas that figured during the discussion included deregulation of agriculture marketing system and abolition of APMC Act and restrictions on inter-state movement of grain and farm products. There is a need to create one Indian market for the farmers, Mr Modi recommended.

Mr Modi also suggested that apart from rejuvenation of the rural sector, stimulation of investment in the manufacturing sector holds the key to rapid growth of the economy and generation of new jobs, particularly for semi-skilled workers. The potential of sectors such as textiles in creating new jobs was also pushed by Ficci.

Mr Modi said that the lack of flexibility in labour policy was constricting the growth of employment and urged the government to consider making labour policy a state subject.

On the issue of disinvestments, Dr Singh responded positively to Ficcis suggestion that the proceeds from disinvestments should be earmarked for a dedicated fund for investments in agriculture and rural sector so that the money can be utilised for generating opportunities for the poorest sections of the society.

Mr Modi also suggested that efficient delivery mechanisms for improvement of key areas need to be looked at closely. He said that dedicated missions to implement development programmes in critical sectors such as the primary education, drinking water, sanitation etc, should be launched to maximise the benefit of these programmes to the rural and urban poor.

Dr Singh categorically stated that the new Congress-led government was committed to accelerating economic reforms and reorienting them to spread the benefits to improve the lives of weaker sections and the common man.