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Bizmen?s Agenda for Modi 2.0 - strong economy, bold reforms

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi leading the NDA to a resounding victory in the Lok Sabha elections, the business community is looking forward to a strong economy and some bold steps, a survey shows.

Business leaders expect policy overhauls, boost to employment and taking off of Make in India and Smart Cities programmes which have not seen much progress during the last five years, the survey conducted by a start-up bizbuzzindia.com

“Under the visionary leadership of Modi, India stands at a massive turning point in its historical development journey in his next term,” said CII president designate Uday Kotak.  CII, he said, greatly looks forward to working with the incoming Government on its reinvigorated economic roadmap to make India a $5 trillion economy in the near future.

Anshuman Magazine, Chairman and CEO, India, South East Asia, Middle East and Africa, CBRE said, the government’s priority could be from policy overhauls to amendments in the older acts to ensure that these acts are relevant in today’s times, the foundations laid down by the Government during its last tenure will bear fruit during this term and will further boost the growth of the country. In order to ensure sustainable growth of the real estate sector, he said.

The economic growth rate has steadily slowed from a peak of 8.3% in the last quarter of fiscal year 2018 to 6.6% in the third quarter of fiscal year (FY) 2019. The huge mandate allows the NDA government to bring forward some big-ticket reforms to spur business and economy, said

Anuj Puri, Chairman – ANAROCK Property Consultants said boosting the Indian economy, creating more jobs, giving further impetus to key sectors including real estate and fulfilling every Indians’ dream to own a home via its flagship project ‘Housing for all by 2022’ should be among the top priorities for the new government. Real estate is one of the major contributors to India’s GDP growth. Bringing the sector back on its previous growth track will help it to not only boost the economy but also create ample job opportunities – the lack of which has drawn enough flak from all concerned stakeholders. Within real estate, the Government needs to unfetter the sector of its woes, including the liquidity crunch, the massive problem of stalled/stuck projects, and developers’ dependence on costly external sources. It must also uplift buyer and investor sentiments further via strict RERA implementation across states.

Simultaneously, some big-bang initiatives launched during the Modi 1.0, including 100 Smart Cities, Housing for All and Make in India, need to see some on-ground progress because only then can they help create job opportunities and thus boost the economy, Puri said.

Ashwajit Singh, Founder and Managing Director of IPE Global, the largest development sector consultancy firm in South Asia. Priorities should include rationalisation and simplification of GST, expeditions resolutions of insolvency and bankruptcy code, privatization of non-core sectors and monetisation of public sector assets, transparency in land titles and transfers, focus on social sector spending like education, health and skill development and lastly boost in manufacturing and exports.Policy makers will have to find ways to leapfrog the job creation. Job creation can be sustained only through economic development, he said.

Agriculture which still employs almost half of India’s workforce has also experienced a steady deterioration. Even if the agricultural output increases, it is important that the prices of farm products keep pace with non-farm prices in the economy, Singh said.

Ashish Mishra, Founder & CEO, TheKrishi, an agritech start-up aiming to increase farmer's income, said the government must evolve immediate measures for farmer distresspropel GDP and create jobs and improve ease of doing business

Unemployment and underemployment are definitely top issues, where PM Modi should focus right away, he said.

Make in India has not really been able to move the needle in terms of creating huge manufacturing clusters across the country, he said and pointed out even the land bill passed during last government has not really solved the land acquisition problem.

Indian Farmer needs the fundamental economics of agriculture to be fixed. Some of the measures that need to be implemented are: All input subsidies including those on fertiliser, seeds, irrigation systems, polyhouse and farm implements should be given as direct benefit transfer to the farmer; A cap should be put on intermediary margins reducing the gap between farm prices and consumer prices; Provide interest free loans to farmers like in Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka and charge them interest only if they are able to sell their produce and still do not repay the loans and Convert at least 25% of the agricultural universities in India to organic ones that will work on reducing input costs and improving yields.

Exports have waned over past few quarters and priority measures need to be taken to regain the lost momentum. Agri-processing Industry needs added focus as it provides much needed boost to rural economy besides giving additional revenue streams to farming community. Bio-energy is one such area that helps achieve socio-economical as well as environmental dividends, said Pramod Chaudhari, Executive Chairman, Praj industries said.

Focus on nationalism needs to continue along with Roti-Kapda-Makan and the government needs to step up efforts to cleanse issues plaguing finance sector especially NBFC and PSU banks, Chaudhari explained.

The government also needs to reach out to global investor community to reinforce their confidence in India Growth story and secure FDI in priority sectors such as Infrastructure.

The fintech industry on its part sought increased attention from the government.

Navtej Singh, CEO Digital Business, Hitachi Payment Services, said “It is our belief that the (new) government will take steps to further strengthen the fintech ecosystem in India. With the consumer in mind, the government should introduce regulations that are flexible in nature and benefit multiple stakeholders. While regulations like sandbox and ‘no-compromise’ approach towards safety will further drive innovation and security in the fintech space, a more market driven approach towards pricing, the timelines to implement the norms and flexibility would be equally important. The push towards more convenience, cost effectiveness and adoption of technology that make lives easier for every Indian citizen such as UPI, IMPS etc. should be the topmost priority.

 “A right mix of policies, regulation and incentives are required to further the fintech space. The Government thus far has been extremely supportive bypromoting the platform for real time and faster payments, creating an environment that has let to huge investments in the fintech space which has allowed mushrooming of several hundreds of start-ups who are enabling innovation,” said Himanshu Pujara -  Managing Director, Euronet Services India Pvt. Ltd.

Going forward the Government has to ensure that policy and regulation have a coordinated run with industry requirements and innovation to foster creativity, new investments and secure growth of the sector,” he said.

Harshil Mathur, CEO and Co-Founder, Razorpay felt that, this government has had a very strong focus on Digital India and FinTech, and we are happy that they will continue to do so. A lot of programs were initiated towards digitisation of the country and increasing access to fintech last year - this must progress with a fresh commitment to democratise digital payments. The impact of GST should bring more people into the tax bracket. One reform that I am expecting is the tax and GST benefit for businesses opting for digital transactions. We were looking forward for this to happen last year, however, hopefully, the government will do it this year.

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