Infra investment augurs well: KPMG India chief

Telangana Today

“India has improved in ease of doing business, more scope in future”

Significant investment in infrastructure sector augurs well with India’s growth plans.

Hyderabad: Indian economic surveys, International Monetary Fund projections had been indicating that the nation is going in the right direction and there will be steady growth in the near-term. The country is expected to have growth in the range of 7-7.5 per cent. There has been significant emphasis and investment in the infrastructure sector, and this goes well with the nation’s growth plans, as it will boost productivity.

Consumer spending is also on the rise, which augurs well to the country’s economy, Arun M Kumar, chairman and chief executive officer, KPMG in India, told Telangana Today.

The world is seeing progress in terms of India improving on ease of doing business (EoDB). It has to catch up with many other countries such as Singapore. More efforts should happen in the direction. Once India establishes itself in terms of EoDB, then it should start making efforts towards improving ease of living, he added.

Kumar earlier served as the assistant secretary of Commerce for Global Markets and Director General of the US and Foreign Commercial Service in the Obama Administration. He led the trade and investment promotion efforts for the US Government and served as the International Trade Administration’s lead official advocating for better market access for US exporters.

Kumar said, “Many States have seen double digit growth in the country. Infrastructure (including power), financial services, education and skills are going to be the key growth drivers for India in the coming years. There are efforts to improve overall manufacturing ecosystem. India should get integrated with the global supply chain.

The recent Tata-Boeing is a good example of how the country can integrate into global supply chain in the defence space. We have to see how the SMEs can play an active role in the manufacturing, all depending on where the demand is coming from.”

Infrastructure is seeing a good momentum. Road sector had some good news with the auctioning of highways, bringing in a high realisation than initially anticipated. Risks are being absorbed the government and the projects are turned over to private sector to execute them. This is going to bring in a lot of capital that can be reinvested in other projects.

Aviation is also seeing growth with green-field airports being built in the last few years. UDAN is allowing a platform towards greater connectivity across the country. Creating aviation infrastructure is going to create fresh demand. Locations have to be identified carefully that will drive passenger growth. The market is currently underserved.

Sagar Mala project is going to reform the ports sector. There is a multi-dimensional approach in infrastructure which will benefit private sector. Telecom is also going to see transformation with mobile connectivity improving, he opined.

On the electric vehicle adoption, policy formulation is in progress. Public transportation is going to be transformed. Many States are keenly looking at rolling out electric vehicles. Companies are waiting for arriving at right price points for rolling out the vehicles. It is definitely at the radar by at the Centre and State levels.

When asked, what is the impact on India of the stance US is taking on trade protectionism, he responds, “In general, protectionism is not good for any economy. It makes an economy uncompetitive. It doesn’t create jobs. It reduces jobs. It’s neither for the US nor good for India. Countries have to work through and negotiate. Nations will start implementing counter measures. It becomes a vicious cycle.”