The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) said on Thursday it expects India's gross domestic product (GDP) to grow at 7.3-7.7 per cent during the 2018-19 financial year.
"This is based on strengthening demand in the rural economy, including agriculture and non-farm activities, as well as better global growth climate," CII President Rakesh Bharti Mittal said.
"There are some macro challenges like rising oil prices, but that would be more than compensated by improving industrial performance," he added.
Sector-wise, the CII projected 2.5-3.5 per cent growth for the agriculture sector, 7.2-7.5 per cent for the industrial sector and 8.4-8.7 per cent for the services sector, with "construction" and "trade and repairs" to lead.
"In the industrial sector, I anticipate, as we go forward, consolidation. Demand is clearly picking up ... I think on the back of another normal monsoon which is being expected or projected," said Mittal, who is the new CII President for 2018-19.
"I believe that the rural consumption will go up and that will help the industry in getting back investments into the manufacturing sector, and, as a whole, the manufacturing activities could go up to 7.2-7.5 per cent," he said.
According to Mittal, although the country's economic outlook was robust, risk factors remained like quality of public finances which may have an adverse impact on private investment, investment rate below 30 per cent, rise in crude oil prices and rising international protectionism.
Mittal said the CII had evolved a strong agenda for industry for the year 2018-19 under the theme of "India RISE: Responsible. Inclusive. Sustainable. Entrepreneurial.", which dovetails with the government's priorities as per the reforms already completed.
Elaborating on the CII theme, Mittal outlined 10 new CII initiatives under the India RISE theme like voluntary corporate governance codes for large enterprises, small and medium enterprises and financial sector; promotion of healthcare under Ayushman Bharat scheme; six new Model Career Centers to be set up to assist seamless connect of employment and employees; and launch electric vehicles mission and promotion of green buildings.
Other initiatives include a pilot project for strengthening Grameen Agricultural Markets (GrAM) and a logistics corridor for perishables in southern states; capacity building of Farmer Producer Organisations and mentoring agri start-ups in line with mission of doubling farmers' incomes; CII-Niti Aayog India Innovation Index to rank states' innovation ecosystems; and a task force on reducing air pollution in Delhi NCR.
Three new international offices in the emerging economies of Myanmar, Vietnam and Indonesia; and focus on the northeast and backward districts for skill development, nutrition and investment promotion, are among other initiatives.
The CII was also taking up new competitiveness services for assisting industry to adopt digital transformation and align with Industry 4.0 technologies, said Mittal.
"The Digital Transformation Center of Excellence in partnership with Tata Communications will promote Digital India," the CII President said.
The CII's Future Business Group was a new initiative to handhold promising enterprises to achieve global scale, he said.
Mittal mentioned that another initiative of the CII was the launch of "export certifications", which would help enterprises to align with the demands and quality standards of global markets.