Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce & Industry organized a Round Table Session of MCCI Economist Forum on Development Strategies in the era of disruption- Taking the Bull by Horn on January 9, 2023 at ITC Sonar, Kolkata.
For the first time in eastern India, MCCI has set up MCCI Economist Forum under the Chairmanship of Shri Suresh Prabhu, Former Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Railways, Commerce & Industry, Chemicals & Fertilizers, Environment & Forests, Power and Chancellor, Rishihood University with 14 Stalwarts from the field of Economics.
The Chief Guest of the Round Table Session was Dr. V. Amamtha Nageswaran, Chief Economic Adviser, Department of Economic Affairs, Government of India.
The President of MCCI, Mr. Namit Bajoria in his Welcome Address said “we are living in an era of disruptions in which powerful global forces are changing how we live and work. The rises of emerging economies, the rapid spread of digital technologies, the growing challenges to globalization, and, in some countries, the breakage of long-held social contracts are all roiling business, the economy, and society”.
Dr. V. Anantha Nageswaran, Chief Economic Adviser, Department of Economic Affairs, Government of India in his address said that India has an opportunity to not just grow consistently by about 6% in the remaining year of the decade and beyond. Now India has to start punching its weight in International Forums such as G20. G20 is an opportunity for India to begin internationalizing the currency.
While speaking on the global economy, Dr. Nageswaran expressed his concern over tightening of monetary policy by USA and Euro zone which will cause huge financial disruptions in the world economy.
He also pointed out that India has undertaken a lot of structural reforms since 2016. In the last year, digital infrastructural growth in real GDP registered at 0.3 to 0.5% per annum. The financial system in India is undergoing structural reforms. The banks are well-capitalized. He added that India will face the challenge of managing rupee strength rather than rupee depreciation likewise during the last decade.
Mr. Suresh Prabhu, Chairperson, MCCI, Economist Forum & Former Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Railways, Commerce & Industry, Chemicals & Fertilizers, Environment & Forests, Power and Chancellor, Rishihood University in his address said that there is an enormous change happening around the world and this change is the main cause of disruption. Disruption can come in various forms like disruption in supply chain, digitalization, geo-political issue, climate change, etc. but we also need to keep in mind that disruption can only open up opportunities for further development in economy.
Dr. Sachin Chaturvedi, Director General, Research and Information System for Developing Countries said that India is the only economy with lowest rising inflation in globally. India is in a zone where economic stability is there. Disruptions are to be addressed in long run, with indigenous policy prescriptions.
Dr. Mridul Saggar, Professor of Practice, Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Kozhikode said that in the current situation, India has faced the problem of limitation in monetary and fiscal space. The inflation rate has yet to come down to the targeted value. The Government needs to consider fiscal consolidation to increase monetary and fiscal space. He also focused on corporate deleveraging to turn around more investment in capital flow.
While speaking on digital disruption,Dr. Amitendu Palit, Senior Research Fellow and Research Lead (trade and economics), Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore mentioned that Digitalization has started creating gaps in society as well as in business. For example, in West Bengal, there is huge digital inequality. In the context of information, for the mass, it is also difficult to distinguish between the accurate and inaccurate information.
Dr. Achintan Bhattacharya, Professor of Practice in Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management, New Delhi (Dwarka) suggested that in the digital era, the government needs to focus on the empowerment of people through digitalization.
Mr. Indranil Pan, Chief Economist, YES BANK expressed concern over the capital utilizing capacity for many large industries which are still below 80%. He also advised that the Government needs to look at Debt GDP stabilization which is still around 84%.
Mr. Siddhartha Sanyal, Chief Economist, Bandhan Bank pointed out that India is secured of its demand side support in the economy rather than other economies in the world. In India, it is important to boost the supply side and provide supply side support to cater the existing demand in economy. He also mentioned that if supply side has grown to meet excess demand, the economy will be at high growth with lower level of inflation. This demand pull inflation is much more manageable.
Mr. P.K.Gupta, Former MD, SBI, Non – Executive Chairman, Utkarsh Small Finance Bank mentioned that the impact of digitalization is going to be profound and its impact is also huge. The gap between people who have adopted digitization and who are lagged behind, is increasing day by day. There is need for skilling and up skilling of the youth.
Mr. Saugata Bhattacharya, Chief Economist, Axis Bank said that in India global supply-chain reconfiguration can only happen by improvement in technological infrastructure.India needs to focus on R&D sector to compete globally.
The Session was concluded by proposing a hearty vote of thanks by Mr. Lalit Beriwala, Senior Vice President, MCCI.