CII will launch WATSCAN, an advanced tool for Water Resources Evaluation and Management at watershed level, said the new CII President, Dr Naushad Forbes. Speaking at his first press meet in Mumbai, he explained that this tool has been developed by CII to identify water generation, accumulation and losses in geographical areas. CII will apply WATSCAN in 50 districts in 10 drought-prone states over the next five years, he announced.
Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII added that CII is currently in talks with Maharashtra Government for applying WATSCAN in 10 districts of the state. A study for Pune district has been already completed. He also shared that the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra has requested for synchronised efforts from industry to support the government on drought solutions.
Dr Forbes, who belongs to the Western Region, added that with expectations of a normal monsoon, GDP growth rate for 2016-17 could touch 8%, higher than the government’s projection. This is based on expected higher agricultural growth on a low base after two successive years of drought.
The CII President stressed that legislative reforms for introducing Goods and Services (GST) and Bankruptcy law must be quickly passed. He called for strong political consensus on GST. He also urged states to action laws on labour as in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, and land reforms as in Tamil Nadu.
Regarding unfinished non-legislative reforms, Dr Forbes welcomed the grandfathering clause and sunset clause for government schemes and hoped this would be implemented speedily. Public investment in industrial parks, roads and highways and railways as well as activation of National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) can be fast-tracked, he added.
Dr Forbes said that for medium to long term growth, productivity in Industry, Services and Agriculture needs to be boosted; hence, CII’s theme for 2016-17 is ‘Building National Competitiveness’. This covers the areas of human development, ease of doing business, corporate integrity and good citizenship, innovation and technical capability, sustainability, and global integration. CII has launched the CII Model Code of Conduct and Code of Good Corporate Citizenship to guide members on ethical business for improving Corporate Integrity and Good Citizenship, he announced.
Speaking about new CII initiatives in the six areas, Dr Forbes said that CII’s new Startup Center of Excellence is being set up with partnership from Tel Aviv University, Harvard University and TiE Silicon Valley. CII is also working on Waste to Worth under the Swachh Bharat initiative for solid waste management in ten cities. Under Standup India, CII will escalate work on Affirmative Action with Dalit Chamber of Commerce and Industry on education and vendor opportunities.
In Manufacturing, CII has recently launched a pioneering and innovative website with a diagnostic tool for manufacturing firms to benchmark their productivity to best global practices. This will help them identify gaps and strengthen their competitiveness.
Mr Banerjee added that CII has identified 6 core manufacturing sectors in which India can be number one or number two in the world. CII will bring out specific roadmaps for their rapid progress.
CII has partnered with three cities under the Smart City campaign for setting up pilot smart cities, including Pune.