‘Reforms will continue even under Third Front government’

May 4th, 2009 - 10:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, May 4 (IANS) Economic reforms will continue unabated even if the Third Front forms the next government at the centre, a top industry official said here Monday.
The Third front is an eight-party alliance in which the Left parties, which are generally opposed to the economic reforms, are main constituents.

“The new government is also going to be run by a coalition. There were coalition governments in the past. By and large the reform process did not change,” said Venu Srinivasan, president of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Asked about the major political parties’ manifestos, he said: “Manifestos are pre-election exercises whereas the union budget will contain the policy measures. We will submit our views to the government once it is formed.”

Easing of direct and indirect taxes, reduction of interest rates for export credit, unification of general sales tax and reduction of fiscal deficit by cutting subsidies are some of the CII proposals for the next government.

Srinivasan added that the industry lobby would recommend the government to ramp up investment in infrastructure to 9 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), focus on big ticket infrastructure projects and build 100 new cities.

“On the fiscal side, the government should reduce the credit cost while reforming and streamlining the procedures.”

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