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Invest in India story, MSME sector must be promoted: Goyal to industry

Union commerce & industry minister, Piyush Goyal, on Thursday, called upon industry to invest in the India story.

Addressing the India Economic Conclave organised by the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Goyal said, “As India is receiving unprecedented support across the world and the world is looking up to India to provide a solid alternative manufacturing base, we should take the initiative and with confidence invest in India.

Goyal’s comments come after Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, recently asked India Inc what is stopping them from investing.

Goyal outlined areas where the industry could help accelerate India’s economic growth and recommended investment in newer cities like tier 2 and tier 3, which he believes would become the next big drivers for the Indian economy.

“Simultaneously, I would urge you to invest in emerging technologies, indigenisation, innovation and research and development,” the minister who joined virtually said.

The minister also said that the MSME sector must be promoted and called for increased interaction between the government and industry.

“I would urge you to extensively participate in our FTA negotiations for which we are regularly consulting with export promotion councils, sectoral industry associations and all concerned parties to help us improve our negotiations and get a good deal for all of you,” he said.

The next 25 years, Goyal said, would be the brightest phase for the Indian economy. “With the collective effort of 130 crore Indians we can surely reach a $30 trillion GDP by 2047 when we celebrate 100 years of independence and script India’s growth story for the world.”

Growth drivers

Listing the growth drivers for India at a later session at the conclave, to mark the chamber’s annual general meeting, Atanu Chakraborty, chairman, HDFC Bank, said that the banking sector was in the pink of health because capitalisation had been restored and NPAs were low.

The capex cycle had again started, he said.

However, he said, how the capex cycle would turn out would depend on how the demand scenario plays out and what kind of asset people end up investing in.

But the economy is far more formalised today, Chakraborty said, courtesy demonetisation, GST and also digitalisation of the economy.

K V Kamath, former chief of the New Development Bank of BRICS countries, said that the next 25 years are going to be India’s and he expects India to be a $25 trillion economy by then.

Kamath said that he had not seen a cleaner balance sheet from banking or industry in his career. “Which means they have the ability to invest and grow.”

He also said that digital architecture will be the biggest employment provider going forward.

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