Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said the government looks at the private sector as a significant partner in developing India, as it sets 2047 as a target year to achieve a developed country status. "We see a very big role for the private sector and we would like to partner with them in this development, where the government can act as a facilitator and an enabler," the FM said at a plenary session at the CII Annual Business Summit 2024 today.

Appreciating the PLI schemes, the FM says it is transforming the mobile and electronics sector. “From 78% import dependency in 2014, today 99% of mobiles sold in India are Made in India. Value addition in electronics and smartphone manufacturing too have grown significantly," she adds.

The FM says India’s story is a “compelling growth story”. “The IMF estimates that India’s contribution to the global growth for 5 years, beginning 2023, will be 18%. Between 2023-28, we are looking at an India that is going to be actually very dynamic.”

The fundamental basis for consistent, steady and high growth in India is “policy stability”, she adds.

The FM says the CII Annual Business Summit has always been a forum which had critical thinking and laid a path towards the next few years. During the session, women achievers were also felicitated by the FM with the CII Foundation ‘Women Exemplar Award’ in the categories of health, education and micro-enterprises.

On this occasion, CII president R Dinesh said the CII had long advocated for lowering corporate tax rates and reducing tax rates. “It was a welcome announcement that FinMin made in 2019 to slash the rate with no exemption and later to reduce it further for new manufacturing investments. This has helped attract investments and made India an attractive destination for overseas and Indian companies.”

He said India needs to set the “right approach” towards technologies, funding transition and supporting MSMEs which are key elements in the supply chain.

Niti Aayog CEO BVR Subrahmanyam said India has a very youthful population. “From 20-25 years down the line, we will still be younger than many other countries. In the next 5-7 years, 20% of the world’s workforce will be from India. This is going to be the engine of manpower, which will drive the world’s growth in the next decade or two.”

He said there are a large number of technological disruptions that are working in India’s favour and AI is one of them. “AI is a technical disruption that puts everybody on the same scale because it is driven by human skill & human intelligence. As India is not short on these skills, we have an opportunity to capitalise on this & grow faster,” he adds.

Sanjiv Puri, president-designate, CII, says the global interest in the Indian economy is a result of “purposeful initiatives” the government has taken. “This is very encouraging for Indian industry as we look forward to contributing to the development of the nation.”

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