India Inc Upbeat: Ficci Survey

New Delhi, Nov 9: | Updated: Nov 10 2003, 05:30am hrs
India Inc has endor-sed the governments economic policy of free trade agreements (FTAs) and expressed its confidence in Reserve Banks revised GDP growth forecast of 6.5-7 per cent this fiscal.

A Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industrys (Ficci) business confidence survey conducted in October reveals that 80 per cent of 564 companies are in favour of more FTAs similar to the one recently signed with Thailand. The company surveyed include Jet Airways, Tata Steel, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Hindustan Lever, Tata Power, Hindustan Motors, Blue Dart and Ford India.

Indian cos are bullish on all fronts specially the economic performance, with demand being no longer a constraint and the performance of the heavy industry improving, Ficci secretary-general Amit Mitra told the press while releasing highlights of the survey here on Sunday.

The survey, recorded responses for the July-September quarter, expressed positive sentiments of the business community which is expecting to achieve substantially better results during the second half.

The overall business confidence index of Ficci is up by 6.9 per cent to 76.2 from 71.3. The heavy industry is most upbeat about its current performance followed by services and light industry, Dr Mitra said.

While the manufacturing sector has turned out a buoyant performance, the mining and electricity sectors have performed poorly. Dr Mitra attributed this to rigid labour laws and excess capacity that is already present in the system. Many of the companies are using capital-intensive technology and outsourcing some of their activities instead of increasing their labour force, he said.