At his first media interaction as President, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), T V Narendran pegged India’s GDP growth rate for 2021-22 at 9.5%. “Ultra-high frequency indicators strongly presage growth recovery following the second wave of the pandemic. With recent uptick in mobility indicators, traffic congestion index and daily railway passenger movement, we believe that 9.5% growth rate can be achieved this year,” noted Narendran, CEO and Managing Director of Tata Steel Limited. Narendran took charge as President, CII on 31 May 2021.
Mentioning that growth needs to pick up to 9% by 2024-25 with public expenditure, reforms and vaccination as key levers, the President stated, “The cumulative impact of the two waves on incomes and consumer sentiment, coupled with the increase in household medical expenses in the second wave, is likely to affect consumer demand for some time. As the economy reopens post the second wave, a dual-pronged Government strategy is required to boost consumption and support industry till demand is well-entrenched.”
Referring to a CII survey that showed the impact of infections on businesses, Narendran outlined key points to reenergize the economy.
One, he batted for a strong fiscal stimulus and Government expenditure program. “CII estimates that there is fiscal headroom of up to INR 3 lakh crore and this amount can be channelised towards direct cash transfers to the vulnerable people, higher allocation for MNREGA, short-term GST rate cuts and lower excise duty on fuel.” Demand can also be revitalized through a time bound tax concession of interest rate subvention for home buyers, a LTC cash voucher scheme as done last year and extending the Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana till 31 March 2022, he added.