Government Assures Action Soon For Reviving Industry, Economic Growth, Says India Inc.
A ladle carries molten iron inside steel melting shop in Rourkela district of Odisha. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Government Assures Action Soon For Reviving Industry, Economic Growth, Says India Inc.

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The government has said that it will soon take action to revive the industry and push growth in the Indian economy, which is showing signs of a slowdown, India Inc. leaders said on Thursday.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her ministry's officials met industry leaders on Thursday to deliberate upon issues facing the Indian economy and industrial growth.

"It was decided that the government is going to take action very soon to revive the industry and it is a matter of sentiments. We got positive feedback from the finance minister,” said Sajjan Jindal, chairman of JSW Steel Ltd.

Sitharaman, in clear terms, gave an assurance that "very soon" a solution would be found, Jindal said, adding that the industry is suffering from issues in sectors such as steel, non-banking financial companies, and automobile.

Piramal Enterprises Ltd. Chairman Ajay Piramal said that industry leaders raised several issues, including reluctance of banks in handing out corporate loans.

"It is not that there was a lack of liquidity in the banks, but lending was not taking place. There is stress on the economy as far as NBFC sector is concerned," Piramal told reporters after the meeting.

The NBFC crisis is impacting sectors like auto, home loan, and micro, small and medium enterprises, he said. "I am told that there will be action soon. So, we will wait for that.”

The government also assured India Inc. that punitive penal action will not be pursued against companies not complying with spending norms for Corporate Social Responsibility. Piramal said that the industry demanded that oversight on CSR spending should not result in any imprisonment.

Further, the government sought industry leaders’ views on ways to stimulate growth in the Indian economy, said TV Narendran, vice-president of Confederation of Indian Industry and managing director of Tata Steel Ltd.

"Across the board, we discussed the key issues," he said, adding that the auto slowdown would have an implication on the steel sector.

Former Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry President Jyotsna Suri said that the cut in Reserve Bank of India’s repo rates should be passed on to borrowers.

Assocham President BK Goenka sought a Rs-1-lakh-crore stimulus package to kick start investment cycle in the economy. With current slowdown in the global and domestic market, there is a need to have quick-fix solutions, he said.

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