India minimally affected by economic crisis: Kamath

May 23rd, 2008 - 2:05 am ICT by admin  

Mumbai, May 22 (IANS) The world economic crisis did not hit the Indian industries with the same impact as it did elsewhere “because of the country’s partial insulation to the global economic trends”, said ICICI chief K.V. Kamath Thursday. Talking to the media after taking over as national president of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Kamath expressed surprise that the Indian industries managed to get away “with minimal pain, after the economic meltdown started”.

“I had expected a lot of pain, thankfully I did not see much. There is too much of resilience in the Indian industries, unlike their counterparts in other countries,” he said.

Despite optimism, he held out the caution that in the coming days “there is a strong likelihood that Indian industrial sector may witness some amount of setbacks”.

He hinted that even if the growth may get affected to some extent, “the overall scenario reveals that we will achieve the targeted growth.”

“Economic history does not show as to how a country’s economy gets affected, specially when there is a spurt of inflation everywhere, but the inflow of massive investments simultaneously also continues. The resulting scenario nobody knows. India’s economic history will be the first to be documented for the economists of the future.”

Refusing to speculate as to what the outcome will be in the coming days, he said: “I hope there will be corrections by itself.”

On the future plans of CII, he spoke of “tackling the problems of urbanization and the paucity of skilled labourers in the industry”.

“We want to focus on preparing skilled labourers. We want students to opt for vocational courses after they come out of the school certificate examinations. The country’s industry will need a massive amount of skilled workers if the manufacturing units have to flourish at optimum level.”

“Similarly, we also want to tackle the growing problems of urbanization. We want to emphasize the need for the development of towns and cities other than the usually named major metros.”

The CII has also drawn elaborate plans to focus on African countries, in the coming days. “Africa is the most happening place. After China it is the place. We all feel that China is fast receding into the past and Africa is the emerging business base for Indian entrepreneurs,” he said.

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