Noting that impact of sustained structural reforms is now being felt on the ground, CII president Rakesh Bharti Mittal today said GDP growth at 7.5 percent plus was a very healthy and positive sign for Indian economy.
"I am very happy that in the last quarter, GDP growth at 7.5 percent plus is a very healthy and very positive sign for Indian economy. The trends and signals (of the economy) are on the recovery path," Mittal said in a media interaction here.
"If you look at IMF, World Bank and other multi-lateral agencies including CII's own projection, we are looking at GDP growth of 7.3-7.7 percent in 2018-19. So, USD 2.6 trillion economy growing at that rate .. If we are going to grow at a healthy rate of 8-9 percent year-on-year in future years, then by 2030, we are looking at India becoming a 10 trillion economy."
For next year, the CII is looking at 8 percent growth, he said.
Mittal said the impact of sustained structural reforms is now being felt on the ground as a mammoth economy is turning around.
The industry chamber had recently highlighted eight key areas where reform measures have unlocked growth forces. These include India's biggest reform Goods and Services Tax (GST), emphasis on ease of doing business, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, liberalisation in foreign direct investment (FDI) policy and high infrastructure spending.
Mittal today said sectors like consumer non-durables, two-wheelers and tractors are witnessing strong rural consumption.
"On Indian industry and Indian trade, we are seeing a healthy picture and this also is because rural consumption has started moving up," he said.
He said structural reforms are settling down including GST regime.
"We have suggested to the Finance Ministry to start now looking at rationalising the tariff lines as well as rationalise the rates, which are in five brackets. I personally feel and believe that in India we cannot have single GST rate, but probably 2-3 rates should be good enough," he added.
Mittal, who took over as CII president in April this year, said another recommendation which the industry body has made to the Centre is to bring four sectors which are left out--petroleum, power, alcohol and real estate-- under the GST regime.
"The idea basically stems from that if we are talking of GST as one nation-one tax then everything needs to be part of that basket. It also helps the industry..," he said.
Replying to a question on interest rates, he said, "when I took over as the CII President, my immediate reaction and response was that interest rate needs to be soft. For simple reason that now we are seeing the economy moving, now we are seeing the private sector investing into capital expenditure, they need support today...what we are saying is that RBI should consider the economic growth on one end, job creation opportunity which will come up and if they can be benign on interest rate".
Touching upon another issue, Mittal said that India has always stood for free global trade."And if you see in the past few decades free global trade has been the norm and has benefitted most stakeholders... India has the opportunity now to start bilateral treaties on sectoral basis. While India is moving ahead on Free Trade Agreement discussions including the UK and I think post Brexit that will be a great opportunity for Indian businesses," he said.