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Reaction from FICCI on latest IIP numbers
Mar '09
“The continuing slide in the industrial economy has been reflected in the latest IIP figures. This underlines the need for ensuring speedy implementation of the measures announced in the economic stimulus packages. FICCI has been pointing out that interest rates at the retail level have not yet been fully adjusted. Unless the lending rates are brought down to single digit levels, economic recovery will take a long time”, said Mr. Harsh Pati Singhania, President, FICCI.

The disaggregated figures indicate that while manufacturing sector had contracted earlier, the latest figures show that the slowdown is having an impact even on the mining sector, which contracted by close to half a percent. The silver lining is consumer durable sector which grew by 2.5% in the month of January 2009.

“Hopefully, we should see some recovery from February 2009 onwards particularly in the context of improved demand seen in sectors like automobiles, consumer durables and cement”, added Mr. Singhania.

On the issue of implementation of stimulus packages, FICCI hopes that the Election Commission would ensure that routine government procedures would move on and not be affected during the election phase. “FICCI has formed a 10 member Committee to monitor the implementation of the various stimulus measures announced and we have also sought time with the Election Commission to impress upon the importance of immediate implementation of the announced measures”, said Mr Singhania.

“FICCI would once again urge the monetary authorities to interact closely with the bankers for a cut in lending rates to bring around a recovery in investment and consumption demand. The interest rates should be cut to single digit levels, more so as inflation has further come down to 2.43% according to the latest numbers”, he added.

Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry

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