Post-Bihar polls, India Inc wants Centre to focus on economic reforms

New Delhi(PTI): Pledging its support to big-ticket investments in Bihar following the Nitish Kumar-led Grand Alliance’s thumping victory, India Inc on Sunday sought a renewed focus by the Modi government at Centre on economic reforms. Biocon’s Chairman and MD Kiran Mazumdar Shaw said that the Modi government should now focus on its economic agenda and hoped the Opposition would also extend a helping hand.

Narendra Modi

“With Bihar elections behind us, Modi govt can now give undivided attention to the economic agenda… Hope Opposition aligns with the government and the electorate,” she tweeted.

She further said the Congress also “needs course correction. Vitriolic rhetoric and opposing economic Bills is alienating the party from the electorate”.

Congratulating Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his Grand Alliance on an impressive victory, industry chamber Assocham said the industry looks forward to “a new beginning” in the state, which needs a renewed vigour for economic development. It further said that with elections now out of the way, “the industry expects the Centre and the state to work together to pursue certain economic reforms like the Goods and Services tax so that the Indian economy is able to achieve higher growth for the benefit of all citizens”.

In a statement, CII too committed to working with the new government in furthering the state’s development agenda.

“Our best wishes go to the incoming government, and I am sure the new government will dedicate itself to fulfilling the aspirations of the masses by leading Bihar to a new era of industrial development, economic growth and prosperity,” said CII President Sumit Mazumder.

The chamber suggested that the new government leverage the PPP model, including FDI participation, to boost delivery of services and improve efficiency. British financial services major Barclays said Indian financial markets were cautious ahead of the election results, and a result against the BJP should lead to market weakness.

“We feel that today’s results — the BJP’s big defeat — could be a material sentiment dampener in Monday’s early trade as this might be perceived as an additional stumbling block to the central government’s reform agenda,” it said in a release.

The industry chambers said the focus will be on agri and food processing, infrastructure, manufacturing and MSMEs, ICT and e-governance, tourism, healthcare, education and skill development, and power and energy.

Assocham said “the Indian industry would be ever willing to work with the new government in Bihar for ensuring that it receives the kind of investments and attention of big time projects and industrial projects that the state deserves”.

On the results, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said, “Absence of any mechanism to take down the line various landmark initiatives and policies including Mudra Bank Yojna, Skill India, Digital India and Make in India campaign of Prime Minister Narendra Modi could be one of the causes.”

CAIT added: “Undoubtedly, no connect with beneficiaries of all these innovative schemes played a major role in debacle of NDA in Bihar polls. If transformed in true letter and spirit, NDA could have come out with flying colours in polls.”

CAIT National President B C Bhartia and Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal hoped that serious introspection will be made by the central government on implementing these schemes. Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) India Chairman T S Bhasin felt that Bihar can be a global hub for engineering export items of interest to small and medium enterprises.