Chambers meet FM, call for decisive action

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New Delhi, Nov 3 (UNI) The heads of three apex chambers today met Finance Minister P Chidambaram and pleaded for decisive government action to ensure that the impact of the global liquidity crunch and possible slowdown of the world economy is felt minimally on India.

The meeting with the Finance Minister took place immediately after the captains of industry met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the global situation and its impact on the Indian economy.

The meeting with Mr Chidambaram was attended by CII President K V Kamath, FICCI President Rajeev Chandrasekhar and ASSOCHAM President Sajjan Jindal.

The government as also the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have taken a number of steps since the beginning of October to protect the country's banking system from the global financial contagion.

Mr Chandrashekhar said the economy and business is at a very critical juncture. There is a crisis of confidence in investors and in business.

''The crisis of confidence is about the growth scenario in the years ahead,'' he said.

He stressed the need for rolling back on the earlier monetary policy stance of the RBI, which laid emphasis on tight money supply.

He said there was very little short money and is expensive as is evident from the weekend call money rates.

He said there was almost no medium and long-term money available.

Thus, the measures taken by the RBI to ease liquidity infusion have had little effect in reaching out to the business community and consumers.

Mr Kamath said there was need to monitor the situation emerging from the RBI's decision to infuse liquidity. He advocated steep cuts to ensure that government's articulated GDP growth of eight per cent is achieved.

Mr Jindal called for infusing more liquidity into the economy to generate investments and key expansion activities that have already been planned, but have taken a backseat due to lack of credit or lending at high interest rates.

He called for enhanced government spending in infrastructure projects and other key utility sectors.


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