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Invest more in education, infra: IMC

June 15, 2009 16:09 IST

Ahead of the Union Budget, the Indian Merchants Chamber has submitted a blueprint on economic reforms including massive investments in infrastructure, education and amendment to labour laws.

The blueprint submitted to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh identified agriculture, infrastructure, manufacturing, education and sustainability as five key areas of focus.

The government should 'encourage infrastructure funding by mandating five or six institutions to create an infra bond market,' IMC President Gul Kripalani said in the action plan submitted to the prime minister.

Funds from the state-run India Infrastructure Finance Company should be made available for all private sector projects and not just for PPP projects, it said.

On the education front, it pushed for opening up of the sector for foreign investment as well for creation of a 'study and pay' model of education rather than a 'pay and study' model to provide access to a greater number of students.

It wanted deregulation of the labour market to stimulate investment and employment. 'Encourage contract labour employment to enhance labour flexibility. Amend labour laws to provide flexibility in respect of entry and exit,' IMC said.

Demanding review of the Agricultural Lands (Ceilings on Holdings) Act, 1961, it said this would facilitate corporate farming at the state level and improve productivity.

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