New Delhi, Apr 16: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will address the inaugural session of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) annual conference on 'Sustainable Competitiveness: Fostering Development' on April 18 here. Buoyed by three successive high-GDP growth years, the leadership in India has set its sights on a double-digit GDP growth.
The service sector, accounting for more than half of national GDP, had provided the key growth propellants in recent years, but the emerging view is that farm sector diversification and the strengthening of the manufacturing sector are pre-requisites for India to maintain its high growth trajectory.
The growth of these two sectors in turn, is contingent on the development of world-class physical infrastructure across the country. More recently, sectoral growth plans have also been enmeshed with the government's increasing rural focus.
Overall, global competitiveness is the common thread that runs through India's new economic initiatives, and sustainable development is the clear-cut expectation from these activities.
The CII Annual Conference&AGM to be held on April 18-19 at New Delhi, presents an opportunity for policy makers, industry leaders and opinion-makers, to review India's economic progress against the backdrop of the country's socio-economic development and international business engagements.
The conference takes place at a time when the world is watching India with a lot of interest. The national economy is resplendent with success stories that range from a surging Sensex that has drawn comparisons with the Dow, to burgeoning forex reserves in excess of 150 billion dollars, rising FDI inflows, improved fiscal management, and a stable interest regime.
Yet, in the midst of the economic euphoria, leaders have continually drawn attention to issues related to the sequencing of the economic reforms programme, revitalisation of the rural economy, renewal of urban infrastructure, environmental safeguards, good governance, etc.
All of these issues are likely to discussed and debated at length as the thought-leaders converge at the CII conference to chalk out strategies for the Indian economy.
Of great interest would be the presence of Prof Jeffrery Sachs, Director, Earth Institute&Queteled Professor of Sustainable Development, Columbia University, US, at the conference. Prof Sachs, a world-renowned expert on sustainable development, will share his thoughts on inclusive growth and environmental protection.
A galaxy of parliamentarians and business leaders, including Minister of Commerce&Industry Kamal Nath, Minister of Science&Technology and Ocean Development Kapil Sibal, Minister of Coal Shibu Soren, Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, Infosys Technologies Ltd CEO, President&Managing Director Nandan Nilekani, Bharti Enterprises Chairman&Group Managing Director Sunil Bharti Mittal and Sundaram Clayton Ltd Managing Director Venu Srinivasan, would be addressing the key national issues at the plenary sessions.
The Prime Minister will give away the annual Exemplar Awards to distinguished women. The Awards, instituted jointly by CII and Bharti Enterprises, are given to community women workers who have made outstanding contributions to the developmental process.
The Sustainability Awards, instituted this year by the recently set up CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development, will be given to Indian corporates with exemplary performance in environmental, economic and social dimensions of sustainable development. The Award recognises companies at different levels of sustainability performance, as well as companies with exemplary performance in specific dimensions of sustainability (environment, social and economic).
There are three levels of performance, each signifying the progress of companies, from policy to practice and to tangible performance, in sustainable performance, in sustainable development.