The COVID-19 pandemic is the defining global health crisis and the greatest challenge we have faced since the World War II. The virus has unleashed socio-economic effects that have devastated lives and livelihoods beyond just health, undoing decades of global progress.
The second wave of infections derailed economies and impacted lives again, as the states had gradually begun to ease restrictions and were in the process of opening up. It was a massive humanitarian crisis and the impact was felt across the country as the caseload soared and many states imposed mini lockdowns to contain transmission. Vaccination is the only way out of this pandemic and with accelerated vaccination drives, a gradual recovery is expected.
As the number of vaccinated people increase, so will India’s capacity to fight this pandemic and get growth back.
It is imperative for the Industry to calibrate and transform itself to drive the economic activity in the country. CII Northern Region (NR) endeavours to identify specific action points on various issues and strengthen the connect with the stakeholders. CII NR’s focus will be aligned with the national CII theme of ‘Building India for a New World’ with emphasis on four critical imperatives for India’s economy – growth, competitiveness, sustainability and technology. CII NR would fully collaborate with the national theme and work in each of these four areas.
During the year, CII NR will work towards the agenda of reviving economic growth through policy advocacy and it will focus on promoting fiscal prudence in states, mapping the sectoral strength at the state-levels, higher spending on healthcare and education. CII NR’s efforts would be driven towards helping Industry expand its market globally, collaboration between Industry, academia and start-ups and promoting self-employment. All these initiatives and activities will be aligned towards strengthening India@75.
Making North competitive will be the cornerstone of every initiative taken up during the year. While discussions have taken place on the topic of facilitating investments in the region, now the focus will be on creating and strengthening the physical infrastructure in NR states to compliment the investment decisions.
Working towards a secured natural environment is indeed a priority amidst the global threats to the environment. CII NR is, therefore, committed to the areas of promoting cleaner air and electric vehicles, environment conservation and forest protection, and reducing CO2 emissions through green practices and businesses.
Exports will be a prime focus and to complement this, quality of products and services would be a top priority for the region. Emphasizing on innovation and new technologies, CII NR would be impressing upon the state governments of the region to come out with specific entrepreneurship development and technical education policies which would eventually help in creation of enabling ecosystem for young budding entrepreneurs to conceptualize their ideas into commercially viable projects. New age solutions, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Big Data and Frugal Engineering would be leveraged this year for the competitiveness of Industry.
With the pandemic, adoption of technology has gathered pace in our day-to-day life. But it has also created a divide between those who have access to technologies and those who do not. Therefore, CII NR would work towards bridging the technology gap as well.
While the pandemic still continues to persist, we must pay close attention to fault lines it has highlighted and deepened, and the challenges that lay ahead. It is time to build on what it taught and showed us.
The article by Mr Abhimanyu Munjal, Chairman, CII Northern Region and Joint Managing Director and CEO, Hero FinCorp Ltd. first appeared in the June 2021 issue of CII Communique. Click here to read the issue.