The School of Business, Galgotias University organized a special talk on “The Revival of Growth and the Role of Union Budget 2014-15 at Seminar Room No. 205, A-Block on 12th August 2014 at 12 noon.
It was delivered by the eminent economist and educationist Prof. B.B. Bhattacharya, Ex Vice-Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. The welcome address was delivered by the Dean and Pro Vice Chancellor, Dr. Saroj Kumar Datta. He quoted Peter Drucker and said resources must be invested against opportunities and not against the problems to reap economic benefit. And also emphasized that budgeting of time is lot more important than money as time cannot be recovered and expanded which is not the case of money. The Vice Chancellor, Dr. B.V. Babu, mentioned that the Budget should address the goal of maximizing the welfare of the people given the resource constraint which is a clear case of multi objective optimization problem. Dr. Renu Luthra, Pro Vice Chancellor, stressed on the multi-crore projects proposal announced in the Union Budget 2014-15, which might enhance economic growth. She also talked about the inclusive growth and stressed on the proper coordination of various departments to achieve the maximum.
Prof. B.B. Bhattacharya started his talk focusing on the reasons of sluggish growth rate of Indian economy especially for last two years. In his opinion this is due to the mismatch between the infrastructure demand and supply, reduced corporate investments, various scams, delayed in completion of projects and inflation. He reiterated that the proposals of multi-crore projects, stress on infrastructure investment, various populist measures, etc. mentioned in the Union Budget 2014-15 is fine. However, he was little apprehensive about these measures in reviving economic growth and simultaneously controlling inflation unless taking hard decisions. Hence the budget could have been much bolder and visionary. According to him, after 30 years, there was a unique opportunity for the government which had an absolute majority to implement structural reforms without being worried about the reaction of the public. He highlighted on the need to restructure the economy and macroeconomic balance, i.e., every rise in expenditure should match with revenue. He further emphasized that root cause of inflation is agricultural price, i.e., food inflation. Also opined that farm subsidy in India is 2.5% of GDP which is one of the factors causing higher fiscal deficit. This is the right time to take tough decisions by slashing farm subsidy in a phased manner wherein the resources generated from withdrawal of subsidy could be used for modernizing the rural sector and improving the physical and social infrastructure such as providing electricity, irrigation facilities, ware-housing, cold storage, etc. Apart from this he said rationality and time management are important for the business and the economy. For the industrial recovery and revival of manufacturing sector, he advocated that industry need assurance for the land, road, and infrastructure, environmental clearance etc. He cited examples of various countries like Singapore, China, Taiwan, South Korea etc. where the industry get assurance and having a different set of conditions for promoting the industrial production. In India, we have just opposite. For example, 93% railway projects have not been completed yet. Now the need of the hour is to concentrate and prioritize what we want and act accordingly. We need to ensure discipline and sacrifice in the present to create a better future and long term development plans. He stressed on human resource development. In this context, he mentioned that in India we are either highly skilled engineers or unskilled/uneducated laborers where the middle layer is missing. Because of which global players are not investing in manufacturing sector in India as it is in China. We have largely unproductive demographic dividend which needs to be made skilled and employable. In this regard he focused to prioritize the role of education and creating the middle layer workforce in reviving economic growth. Public health care was another thrust area which requires immediate attention. He concluded his speech by reiterating his earliest statement mentioning that the Union Budget 2014-15 must be visionary and focused.
The Vice-chancellor presented a memento to Prof. B.B. Bhattacharya and the special talk ended with vote of thanks by Dr. Sadananda Prusty, Professor and Associate Dean.