NEW DELHI: According to Sumit Mazumder, CII President, land acquisition is a key bottleneck that is preventing the implementation of large infrastructure projects, which, he said would be beneficial for the poor and underprivileged. Farmers who have surplus land to sell are unable to do so under the current provisions of the land legislation. He said that CII will work with state governments and political parties to advocate for a more industry-friendly legislation on land acquisition. He added that there are two other areas where legislation needs to be more accommodative of industry interests, viz. Companies Act and labour laws. While CII will advocate for these changes, it will continue its work with companies to improve their governance, transparency and integrity.
Outlining his views on the economic outlook, he said that India is now the fastest growing economy in a global environment that remains soft. CII expects GDP growth to lie in the range of 7.8-8.2% in 2015-16. Industry and services are expected to continue on the path of recovery though there are risks that agriculture may be a dampener if the monsoon disappoints. However, given earlier successes in implementing mitigating measures such as wider use of drought-resistant plant varieties, he said he did not expect a decline in production. In the medium term, a multi-pronged strategy of focusing on the manufacturing sector, providing greater impetus to skill development and investing in agriculture and infrastructure would raise the growth rate to 9-10%, he said.