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Biz has great expectations from Congress

May 13, 2004 19:43 IST

Top corporate managers on Thursday expressed confidence that the Congress-led coalition, in case it forms the government at the Centre, would give a fillip to economic reforms, initiated by Manmohan Singh under the party's rule in 1991, with adequate focus on social sector development.

"The economic reform was the brainchild of the Congress and we hope that with the party coming to power, the reform process will get a boost," Bajaj Auto Vice-Chairman Madhur Bajaj said.

The corporate sector was hopeful that the process of economic reforms would continue even if the Left parties joined the Congress-led coalition, he said.

  • "We expect that Manmohan Singh will be the next finance minister. The Congress knows the rules of the game and I do not think the Left parties will try to derail the process," Bajaj said.

    With the Congress-led alliance, reform process and good socio-economic initiatives would not suffer, Electrolux CEO and MD Rajeev Karwal said. "We hope that whichever government comes to power will look into tax, labour and infrastructure reforms," he said.

    Expressing confidence that reforms will keep its pace, Maruti Udyog MD Jagdish Khattar said, "We look forward to the new government making specific announcements with regard to economic policy in the first few days in office."

    With the resurgence of the Congress, not only the economic process would continued, but there would be adequate emphasis on rural development so that benefits of reforms could percolate down, Philips India Vice-President D Shiva Kumar said.

    New govt must expedite labour reforms: Exporters

    Exporters welcomed the outcome of general election and hoped the new government would speed up labour reforms and enhance competitiveness of Indian exports by addressing the issues of high transaction cost and appreciating rupee.

    "Flexibility in labour laws, infrastructure facilities, less volatility in exchange rate and reduction in transaction costs should be looked upon by the new government," the Federation of Indian Export Organisations said.

    Apparel Export Promotion Council said measures were required to ensure that the export potential of the country was realised.

    "If China can achieve high growth in garment exports why can't we grow our static apparel exports," an AEPC official questioned.

    He said exporters had been pressing for resumption of income tax benefits for domestic tariff area units, refund of high transaction costs and measures to address appreciating rupee which should be considered top priority by the new government.


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