UPA government at the centre steered under the stewardship of PM Dr. Man Mohan Singh performed well from the impact of unprecedented global financial crisis and other external shocks over the last two years. This is evident from an average of 9.5% in three period from 2005-06 to 2007-08, GDP growth slowed down to 6.7 % in 2008-09 and again recovered to 7.4% in 2009-10 and has touched 8.9 % during first half of 2009-10, said Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherhjee amidst thunderous applause in his addressed to 90th annual session of ASSOCHAM.
He supplemented this statement in illustrating his part of facts and figures and said recovery has been broad based with agriculture industry and services all contributing to the consolidation of the growth process notwithstanding the economy is remarkably resilient to both external and domestic shocks, he added. He went on to spell out the achievements of the country and said the achievement has been recognized and appreciated across the globe that reflects maturing of economic management of India even as economy has become more integrated with global markets and proved globalization and economic resilience go hand in hand.
Reviewing the economic slowdown and rapid recovery followed has reinforced the importance of walking on two legs, the rural India and urban India where business and markets will have to be equally sensitive to the needs and desired of the rural India, where consumption of fast moving consumer goods are sold heavily and are related to basic needs with limited aspirations rural economy is quite insulated from global impulses and urged and called upon the corporate conglomerates to focus proactively their attention towards rural development.
He was of the view that what is true for consumer goods is also true for financial products and distribution network of most financial products is concentrated in few urban centers and thus there is need for expansion of easy access to financial services in rural areas and all market intermediaries including banks need to be brought into the loop to create synergy and ultimately benefit the financial markets and the average consumer in the country, he added.
He also examined over the corporate governance debate which is moving from the effects of b ad governance on minority and small shareholders to the effects on all stakeholders and company boards and management are concerned with near term often as near as next quarter, and stressed the company need to balance the interests of different stakeholders. He asked the industry captains and corporate pundits to give priority to think about investment in green technology but admitted such an investment in short term will reduce adverse impact on the environment in long term.
He also gave second thought over the corporate ethics in business and dubbed it as significant motivator and differentiator, but cautioned such business should not push the single agenda of profit maximization. He lamented over the business magnets who are not behaving in a manner that would aim at maximize their personal benefits regardless of impact on others, booed and jeered companies should not focus just on maximizing shareholder value at all costs.
In his concluding remarks he emphasize on innovation and said there is ample scope for innovation in creating systematic channel of distribution network to reach various products to a large number of people so that gains reaped from innovations in product distribution may be far greater than gains in product innovation, he added.
Earlier in her opening remarks the outgoing President Dr. Swati Piramal lauded the role of ASSOCHAM towards the economic development and said ASSOCHAM is the pillar of democracy and voice of industry where business and industry are doing immense contribution and doing yeomen service to the development and advancement of the country. She also stated the four pillars are youth, earth, health and growth and for her these are metaphors and dubbed the development during last decade was turbulent where the corporate leaders and industry chambers are moving smoothly always and with fierce competition everyone ought face challenges with all strength and vigorousness she noted. She further said ‘we have different points of views in one industry and we actually take all points of views – and compared with other countries like China and South Africa and said later is noisy democracy but strong democracy she added. She noted that as India is harmonizing its accounting system in the world there are more challenges ahead in the implementing something for in the way everyone is looking forward. Finally she had outlined the events that took place under his Presidentship in the aegis of ASSOCHAM.
In his proposal of vote of thanks the incoming new President Mr. Dilip Modi who is the budding younger entrepreneur pledged that he will carry forward his predecessor’s vision and entrepreneurship to route India’s high growth trajectory to all corners and sections of the society. He chalked out five charters for the ASSOCHAM include financial inclusion, digital inclusion, infrastructure inclusion, global inclusion and talent inclusion.
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