The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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CII barometer flashes higher growth reading

New Delhi, Feb. 16: Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the most influential chamber, refused to subscribe to the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) estimate of 4.4 per cent GDP growth for the current fiscal 2002-03. Instead, it projected a higher ball-park growth figure.

CII said its optimism stemmed from the belief that sectors like manufacturing, services and information technology have performed better than previous years.

Addressing an interactive session organised by the Forum of Financial Writers, Tarun Das, secretary-general, CII said: “I don’t subscribe to the CSO figures. Manufacturing, services and infotech sectors have performed well this year. Only agriculture has gone down.”

Just a few days back, the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry had also disagreed with the figures posted by the state-run CSO and said somewhat the same things.

Explaining his perspective of visualising India as the future manufacturing hub of the world, Das said “the year 2002 has proved to be a landmark one for the manufacturing sector which has come back from its shell. The sector has grown from 0 per cent a few years back to 5-6 per cent this year. I see growth shooting beyond 10 per cent very soon.”

“It is more creditable in the light of the fact that in spite of global recession India has been able to get orders from the outside world. In future, I see that global demand will only prove to fuel growth in India,” he added.

Highlighting his expectations from the forthcoming budget, Das said, “I see significant things happening in the budget out of the Kelkar Committee report which sparked off a national debate on tax reforms. I think the budget will mainly focus on tax reforms and simplification of tax measures. In addition, it will also stimulate further growth in the manufacturing sector.”

Speaking about other sectors, Das said: “Textiles will find a pride of place in the budget as it is a huge employment generating sector and also it has become competitive of late.”

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