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India Inc suggests measures to bring economy back on track

Industry body Confederation of India Industry (CII) has suggested a slew of measures to bring economic growth back on track, including faster implementation of infrastructure projects.

BT Online Bureau   New Delhi     Last Updated: June 13, 2012  | 00:00 IST

Industry body Confederation of India Industry (CII) has suggested a slew of measures to bring economic growth back on track. These include faster implementation of infrastructure projects and releasing payments of Rs 1 lakh crore stuck in the public system, to private companies.

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The suggestions were made by a CII delegation that met Prime Minister's Chief Economic Advisor C Rangarajan and Prime Ministet's Principal Secretary Pulok Chatterji on Tuesday.

The meeting - held in the backdrop of country's GDP growth plunging to a nine-year low of 6.5 per cent in the last financial year - was centered around core issues that are hurting the key infrastructure sectors fertiliser, coal, power and construction and debt restructuring the companies.

According to CII, setting up of a dedicated Infrastructure Fast Tracking Board and creation of a special purpose vehicle, that has all clearances in advance before bidding for projects, would also help in stimulating economic growth.

It also emphasised the need to expedite major infrastructure projects and investments like Dedicated Freight Corridor, both Western and Eastern corridors.

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Stating that level of corporate debt restructuring (CDR) in infrastructure has increased to around Rs 17,000 crore in last few years, the CII delegation sought an urgent government intervention on issues like fuel security for power producers, environmental clearances and financial restructuring.

It also pointed out that the financial sector is reeling under the stress of impaired assets and and there is a need to relax restructuring norms by the banks for the infrastructure sector.

According to CII: "The banking sector needs to permit 'two time' restructuring of infrastructure companies under balance sheet stress as a special case instead of the current one time allowance."

It also sought early clearance of new urea investment policy which can catalyse new investments in the fertiliser sector in short term among other issues.

Noting that order inflow has gone down by 30-35 per cent in last two years in the infrastructure sector, particularly in the power, transport and hydrocarbons sectors, CII said that "all this is going to have a major impact on the employment scenario, besides (impacting) economic growth in the country."

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