Union Minister for Commerce & Industry, Mr. Anand Sharma has asserted that India’s growth story can not be written off as the fundamentals of the economy continue to remain strong. “If any body says Indian economy is in a position from which it can not recover, they are wrong”, he said while speaking at the CHEMEXCIL Export Awards Function held in Mumbai on August 30.Mr Sharma said there is a lot of negativity being spread about the domestic economic situation through daily commentary adding to despondency. He rejected the argument that India is facing a pre-1991 situation, saying that the foreign exchange reserves are satisfactory, foreign debt is at a manageable level & the debt to GDP ratio has been constantly coming down.
The Minister admitted that there is turbulence as the country’s economy is faced with strong headwinds. “In a connected global economy, it is natural to be affected” he said. “From Brazil to Russia to Indonesia, there is not a single economy, whose currency has not been depreciated. But, there is no reason to panic, no need to be despondent” he added.
Mr Sharma admitted that the decision making has been slow, which needed to be speeded up. He said “there are too many external factors, too many no go areas, that are hampering the decision making process.” “India has among the highest coal reserves in the world, yet, the country is importing coal. Not because of any executive decision, but because of external restrictions” he said. He was perhaps referring to the global NGOs working in the field of environment who enjoy tremendous clout. He said, while the executive and the political class was held accountable, those who vitiate the investment climate have no accountability.
Mr. Anand Sharma complimented the chemical industry for posting a robust growth of over 20% in spite of the recessionary trends. He said the chemical industry has potential to grow further and improve its share in the global chemical industry, which is only 3% at present. The export performance of CHEMEXCIL during 2012-13 was US $ 13.86 bn as compared to US $ 11.27 bn in 2011-12.
On this occasion, Mr Anand Sharma presented CHEMEXCIL Life Time Achievement Awards to Nadir Godrej of Godrej Industries Ltd, Mumbai and Shyam Bhartiya of Jubilant Life Sciences Ltd, Noida. All together 75 export awards were presented in recognition of outstanding export performances.