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Mr. Kumar Mangalam Birla
Mr. Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman, UltraTech Cement Ltd (Aditya Birla Group)

India is on a roll. There is a buzz about India, as it blazes forth as the fastest growing economy in the world at 7.1%. The trade deficit in 2016-17 was USD 106 billion, lower by 11% over the previous year. The current account deficit has been significantly pared. India’s foreign exchange reserves as at March end 2017 were USD 370 billion. Investors are bullish. Foreign investment flows, which were at over USD 60 billion in FY-17 are scaling new records. Markets are buoyant. Stock index is at a historic peak. India’s global ranking has jumped up in competitiveness and on the innovation index.

The various initiatives and reforms of the Modi Government have built the platform for a quantum leap ahead. High impact national projects, coming to grips with structural issues, which were holding back the country’s progress, innovative approaches in policy making-have collectively contributed in driving India on a high growth trajectory. Going forward the abiding sense is one of immense optimism and confidence in the future with the nation slated to grow at 7.5% to 8%. India’s narrative is unmatchable.

That said, if there is one subject that needs greater attention on the government’s radar for the ensuing years, it is the revival of investment activity and creation of quality jobs in large measure. The Government is seized of these issues. The Government has taken many steps, including a sharp focus on improving ease of doing business, speeding of green clearances and stepping up public sector outlays for infrastructure. I believe, it is a matter of time before the private sector investments pick up-as NPAs are resolved and corporate balance sheets are deleveraged.

Annual Report 2016-17


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