Development as a whole – whether societal or industrial – has always been at the forefront of everything that we do at CII. In 2007, we began work on India@75 for achieving the common vision of an inclusively developed India by 2022 that would be characterized by its economic strength, technological vitality and moral leadership.
India maintained an average GDP growth rate of 7.5% between 2014 and 2018, despite global slowdown. Industry has a strong role to play in sustaining and enhancing this growth pace and CII contributes in driving the agenda for development.
Through a consultative process among industry members, including large and small enterprises, CII evolved the theme of “Competitiveness of India Inc: India@75 – Forging Ahead” for the year. This will shape our work during 2019-20.
We have identified the following sub-themes as priority areas for our actions over the year:
CII took up competitiveness as a theme in 1993-94 to consolidate its efforts towards building the productivity of Indian industry. This was later adopted as a central theme for 6 consecutive years in 2001 and has been a central theme for us as we work towards ensuring the prioritization of national development goals.
Our strategies need to be aligned towards providing nearly 8-10 million people entering the working age population, every year, with livelihood options in all sectors. CII has been working with the government to ensure that the right conditions are present for various enterprises to create jobs.
Rural – Urban Connect
The rural-urban connect – along with an interplay of agriculture, manufacturing and services sectors – will play a major role in achieving and sustaining a high growth after 2022. The food processing sector can help increase linkages between rural and urban economies, and CII plans on working towards strengthening this sector, especially in rural areas.
We are also planning on introducing pilot projects to help create agri-value chains, including cold chains, warehousing, and transport connectivity. The industry connect in allied sectors such as horticulture, fisheries, poultry and livestock will be taken up as well.
India has taken a proactive role in combating climate change and meeting sustainable development goals. As a lead player in the International Solar Alliance, initiated by the Government, CII has always placed sustainability at its forefront.
Through our various Centres of Excellence, we are taking an active role in promoting clean air, electric vehicles, environment conservation, and forest protection. CII is helping to reduce carbon emissions through green practices and businesses. Along with these areas, we will further bolster our efforts towards water conservation and availability, waste management and protection of coastal areas to ensure an environmentally sustainable future.
Our work with farmers in the Northern Region for reducing stubble burning has achieved notable success and a robust plan for scaling this up is in place.
With India’s rising import bill, it is imperative that we focus our efforts towards energy security and efficient consumption of energy resources for sustainable development. While the renewable energy capacity within the country has increased, there is a need for high grade energy infrastructure to be developed – including energy ports, pipelines, refineries, etc. – in order to face climate extremes.
Improving our energy security will require the building of necessary storage facilities by focussing on innovation and providing access to finance and investments to cost effective technologies. This will allow for a reduction in oil intensity within the country and create a positive impact on our macroeconomic sustainability.
CII would also continue to work extensively on electric vehicles to reduce oil use in the transport sector.
Governance is a focus area for CII. In order to narrow the trust deficit, it is important that we focus our efforts on developing innovative governance practices, set quality standards and evolve current practices. We will be focussing on the following three key areas: promoting better risk management, ensuring transparency, and improving stakeholder engagement.
Despite the global environment being in a state of constant flux, we believe that with the strong efforts towards growth and inclusive development, India will continue to maintain its position as among the world’s fastest growing large economies.