The economy is in a strong rebound mode with a GDP growth rate of 8.7% for 2021-22. Sustainable, high growth rates are important to meet the country’s aspirations for 2047. To enable an inclusive, balanced and sustainable growth and empower the Indian Industry as a force multiplier, CII has adopted the theme for 2022-23 as Beyond India@75: Growth, Competitiveness, Sustainability, Internationalisation.
This is a very special year for India as it reaches 75 years of Independence. The current geopolitical conditions offer the country a unique chance for global leadership by the time the nation reaches its 100th year of independence. In this, businesses will play a critical role and must drive the change. CII as a leading institution for nation building is a driving force in this mission and over the coming year, the initiatives and action agenda for development for the next 25 years are being set in place.
While India’s growth has picked up, the challenge is to maintain this pace over a longer time horizon. This will necessitate increasing the investment to GDP ratio and ensuring that consumption remains robust.
Investment: Over the year, CII will continue to provide analytical policy inputs across sectors as well as financial markets and access to capital based on data and industry perspectives.
Employment: CII’s engagement would be scaled up with skilling of 1.5 lakh youth and help with placement of more than 2 lakhs youth. Model Career Centres will be expanded from the current 40 to 60 and multiskill institutes will go up from 4 to 9, thus enhancing employability as well as placing the youth in employment. CII will also set up Migrant Labour Facilitation Centres in four cities through industry participation for supporting migrant workers.
CII initiatives in school education such as the Catch-up Campaign and Project Kaksha will help children in the age group of 6 to 14 years who are impacted by school closures.
Towards making health a boardroom agenda, the organisation proposes to work during the year with industry to partner and strengthen district and block level healthcare centres, including capacity building of health workers, pharmacists, district level medical retailers, etc.
CII has been working on competitiveness since long and has built robust capabilities to foster growth in sectoral and enterprise competitiveness.
Cost and ease of doing business: For 2022-23, CII is formulating a CoDB Index that will take into account factor costs, finance and capital cost, compliance costs and societal and governmental costs and will help States assess the reforms needed to bring in efficiency and lower costs.
In ease of doing business, it would strengthen work with the states for implementation of the national single window system and simplification of processes. CII has also taken up reforms in judicial processes and business laws at the central level.
Enterprise competitiveness: MSME competitiveness has been actioned through the project of Digital Saksham for digital literacy and adoption in collaboration with MasterCard. The project is being implemented in 7 States covering 75,000 MSMEs which will be scaled up to 300,000 MSMEs in the next 3 years.
CII will also work with the logistics sector to increase operational efficiency and lower costs, while developing logistics policies for 5 States, apart from the 9 states already covered.
Linking farmers to markets has been a focus areas and CII has launched a network of Farmer Producer Organisations that will help about 200,000 farmers over the next few years in terms of facilitating institutional market access, training and capacity building on agronomy and other farm practices besides helping in technology deployment.
In the area of sustainability, CII has been spearheading several initiatives aimed at promoting green products and practices, besides promoting and propagating the Net Zero objectives. In the coming year, the organisation will work to develop a decarbonisation roadmap and sectoral roadmaps for achieving Net Zero by 2070.
CII-Indian Green Building Council has crossed 8 billion sq. ft. of registered green building footprint in India. It is now proposed to target 10 billion sq. ft. of green building footprint in India for 2022-23.
An Industrial Blue Water Rating is needed to evaluate and promote water smart and secure approaches for conservation and efficient resource use. The water conservation centre of CII will develop this tool for use of industry.
It is pivotal that Indian industry deepens its global footprint. CII will sensitize industry on the new FTA opportunities, especially in the MSMEs in tier 2 and tier 3 cities, and assist in capacity building for exports.
In addition, it is proposed to set up new foreign offices in Bangladesh and Vietnam to leverage the potential trade and investment benefits.
To strengthen the knowledge base for international interventions of industry, CII will set up a centre for international research. It is very welcome that CII has been appointed as the Secretariat for B20 by the Government. Its role would be to prepare business recommendations for G20 leaders and also engage in advocacy for global representation of the joint business recommendations.
With technology as an underlying theme for all its work, CII will launch ASPIRE – Association with Premier Institutes of Research and Engineering Technology Promotion and Facilitation, an Industry – Academia engagement programme that would help in promotion and policy facilitation of top 25 potential technologies critical for growth of Indian industry and manufacturing sector.
The CII National Technology Mission covering areas like Innovation, R&D, IP, Design etc. will be launched for enhancing R&D spending to 4% of GDP by 2047. To promote startups and entrepreneurship, CII will set up CII Incubation Centre at Hyderabad this year and will conduct State level startup accelerator programmes in partnership with corporates.
A Centre of Excellence on Design & Intellectual Property Rights is planned to provide comprehensive IP consultancy and training for strengthening the IPR framework for industry.
CII’s long term vision is to build an empowered nation by India@100. Growth of the business ecosystem, with emphasis on the key sectors, would have an exponential multiplier effect on the economy. The CII Theme for 2022-23 would help set the right tone for the Industry in this effort.
The article first appeared in the June 2022 issue of CII Policy Watch, Theme – Beyond India@75: Competitiveness, Growth, Sustainability, Internationalisation.