Terming the Economic Survey 2013-14 as a "realistic" assessment of the current picture, India Inc on Wednesday hoped that the Union Budget will address key issues like infrastructure development and implement measures outlined in the document to revive growth.
"The bold reform measures outlined in the Economic Survey need to be implemented on the ground to re-energize investment and revive demand in the economy. In fact, the various measures that find mention in the Survey raise expectations that the Budget would be a most progressive one," Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) President Ajay Shriram said.
"It is eminently feasible to revive investment and script a turnaround in growth provided the government adopts a three pronged approach of creating a framework for sustained low and stable inflation, setting public finances on a sustainable path by tax and administrative reforms and creating a legal framework for a well-functioning market economy," he added.
Indian economy is likely to grow in the range of 5.4 to 5.9 per cent in 2014-15 overcoming the sub-5 per cent GDP growth of past two years, even as poor monsoon and disturbed external environment remain a cause for concern, the Economic Survey noted.
"In our view, growth this year could be nearer the lower end of the band indicated in the Economic Survey. The outlook for agriculture is weak due to expected sub-par monsoon. In this context, managing food inflation becomes an even higher priority," Ficci President Sidharth Birla said.
"We hope that some of the concerns and priorities highlighted by the Survey like controlling fiscal deficit, better subsidy targeting and focus on infrastructure and manufacturing are addressed right away in the Budget tomorrow (Thursday)," Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said.
Pointing out that not all the money put into subsidy schemes reaches the poor, the survey suggested payment of subsidy in cash for those below poverty line through technologies like biometric identification, observing the current methodology has led to distorted resource allocation.
"As per the Controller General of Accounts (CGA), the major subsidies in 2013-14 amounted to Rs 2,47,596 crore, well above revised estimates," the survey underlined.
"Rationalisation of subsidies on inputs like fertilisers and food is essential to achieve fiscal consolidation. Going ahead, serious efforts are needed to rejuvenate manufacturing sector growth trajectory since the last many quarters," PHD Chamber of Commerce President Sharad Jaipuria said.
With IMD department predicting a 71 per cent probability of a sub-normal or deficient monsoon and spatial distribution of rainfall, the pre-budget document said agriculture output is likely to be impacted and consequently food prices.
The industry also supported the need for a fiscal consolidation roadmap backed by an FRBM (Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management) Act "with teeth" as outlined in the survey.