India Inc on Thursday demanded lower interest rates, investment stimulus and clarity in tax laws from Finance Minister P Chidambaram, to tide over declining manufacturing sector growth and reverse the economic slowdown.
These suggestions were made by captains of the industry in separate meetings with Chidambaram . The meetings come ahead his scheduled deliberation with PSU bankers on August 18.
"Industry ultimately needs lower interest rates, unless and until fiscal deficit is addressed there is no way industry can look forward to this. Other than that we talked about stimulation of investment," Ficci President R V Kanoria said.
Industry has been clamoring of an interest rate cut on the back of declining inflation and contraction in industrial output. The WPI Inflation has been declining for last two months. In July it fell to a 32 month low of 6.87 per cent.
HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh said, "Interest rates should be brought down for economy to start...we need policy that attracts foreign investor, the kind of negative publicity India has got in recent times, that has to be reversed. Clarity in tax regime is required".
After taking charge of the Finance Ministry this month, P Chidambaram had said that high interest rates "inhibit the investor and are a burden on every class of borrowers".
He had said steps would be taken to bring down interest rates and also stimulate investment climate.
After meeting Chidambaram, CII President Adi Godrej said: "We have suggested that actions should be taken on points he raised ... The most important reform to my mind to help GDP growth is Goods and Services Tax (GST). I think we should try to get GST implemented early".
Earlier in the day, industry chambers also met Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma.