United we rise: Chambers to come on one platform

By : BS Reporter
Last Updated: Thu, Aug 30, 2012 19:31 hrs

Industry bodies will come together to deliberate on how to maximise their role in "policy advocacy" and push for economic reforms at a time when the economic growth is slowing down.

An initiative taken by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry would bring together other industry bodies like the Federation Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) and the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) on a common platform. The platform would be provided in the form of a two-day Global Summit, starting from Monday in New Delhi.

The organisers said the summit is bringing together key industry bodies, domestic and from overseas, along with key government ministries and corporate stakeholders to discuss how the industry associations’ role in policy advocacy and economic reform could be maximised.

Interestingly, while overseas industry bodies like the Swedish Chamber of Commerce, the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and the Nepal Chamber of Commerce would participate in the summit, leading domestic industry chamber—the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)— will be conspicuous by its absence.

Those in the know said an invitation was extended to CII. When contacted, CII officials confirmed they got invite, but would not be able to attend the summit due to prior engagements.

PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry President Sandip Somany said: "We have undertaken this initiative due to the need of the hour to facilitate convergence between the government and industries. We all need to take core decisions and steps to take the Indian economy forward and boost the business environment and morale.”

He said the need for the summit was felt as negative news on various economic parameters had been emanating and no purpose would be served by merely crossing our fingers and cribbing. "Chambers need to come together and give concrete suggestions which could be taken effectively with the policy makers," he said.

Asked how could those suggestions be made effective when the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has practically not listened to chambers’ continuous suggestions on rate cuts, Somany said ultimately chambers could make only suggestions and it was up to the central bank to take a call on these requests.

The organisers said at a time of "economic paralysis", it is the need of the hour for the government and the industry to come together to revive the economy.

"In this regard and to attempt to review and reform the role of industry chambers across the country, the chamber has organised this meet to bridge effective dialogue and outcomes from policy makers and industries alike," a PHD chamber of commerce official said.

India's economic growth fell to nine-year low of 6.5 per cent in 2011-12. In the last quarter of 2011-12, the economy expanded by just 5.3 per cent. The first quarter numbers for the current financial year would be out tomorrow and are expected to be quite low as well.

In a scathing attack on the government, Parliament's standing committee on finance is understood to have charged the government with a policy paralysis and asked it to initiate reforms to put the economy back on high growth path.

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