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CII to start cell to check states’ growth

A skill development programme for Punjab is also in the pipeline.

Sanjay Sharma  CHANDIGARH | 27th Apr 2013

ndia's top business body Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is starting a cell to monitor efforts made by states to drive economic growth.

This was revealed here on Friday by CII's new chairman Krish Gopalakrishnan during his first visit to a regional centre. Chandigarh is the headquarters of the CII cell for Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Rajasthan.

Gopalakrishnan said that the cells in each state will be in constant touch with state governments to facilitate faster growth. The decision to open such cells had emerged after the industry body realised that while its agenda has been accommodated by the Central government, states had been lagging behind in implementing reforms.

The cell will share success stories of states to other areas to encourage them to follow the example. Gopalakrishnan cited Punjab's case of providing agricultural land on a long lease to industries as a good example for others to follow as land ceiling acts had been coming in the way of commercial crops.

The CII national chairman added that a formal announcement will be made about a skill development programme for Punjab. The CII is working on selling an economic plan to all political parties with the business body engaging political parties in an awareness effort. "We will send our proposals to political parties for including those ideas in their manifestos," said the CII chairman.

The effort assumes importance in the wake of political uncertainty in the 2014 parliament elections and regional parties becoming stronger. Even regional parties have to be convinced about India's need to achieve a growth rate between 8-10% per annum to continue with major social programmes and alleviate poverty. Gopalakrishnan said public interactions with the political parties may not result in anything tangible but private talks have led to them understanding the crucial need for pushing growth.

The skill development programme is also part of a need for convincing more people about the need to achieve growth and share the fruits of development with a larger number of people, Gopalakrishnan said. While the industry pushes for reforms to unleash high growth, the common man is cynical about growth not benefitting them.

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