Social unrest, strikes and closures biggest business risks: Survey

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New Delhi, June 24 (IANS) Social unrest, strikes and closures have emerged as the biggest risks affecting the Indian economy followed by information and cyber insecurity and crime among others, according to a leading industry body survey released on Friday.

“A majority of the respondents surveyed this year have ranked strikes, closures and unrest as the major risks affecting the Indian economy,” said Ficci’s India Risk Survey 2016.

Encompassing 12 key risk areas, the survey has quizzed business leaders, policymakers, experts and professionals across geographies on strategic, operational and safety risks to business establishments.

Social unrest, strikes and closures have assumed significance in 2016 in the light of the paralysing situations industries faced during the Jat, Patel and Kapu agitations demanding reservation in government jobs and educational institutions.

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This key risk area rose to the first spot in 2016 from fifth last year.

Information and cyber insecurity occupied the second spot as in 2015, posing persistent risk for both private and government sectors in a high-technology driven global economy, said the survey.

“Information insecurity along with infringement of intellectual property and corporate fraud remain some of the crucial concerns in business strategy, across sectors and geographies,” said the survey.

The third position on the Ficci India Risk Survey 2016 was occupied by crime, rising from the fifth position last year.

Citing National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) metrics, which showed an increase in the crime rate by 8.9 per cent from 2013 to 2014, the survey said higher crime numbers are often closely associated with rise in civic unrest that affected the wider business interests.

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Other major risk areas include terrorism and insurgency, corruption, bribery and corporate frauds, political and governance instability, natural hazards, fire, intellectual property theft, business espionage, workplace violence and sexual harassment and accidents.

“India’s sustained improvement In the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2015… improved its rank to 76, which is the best in the South Asian region after Bhutan. India did even better than another major Asian neighbouring country, which has been ranked 83rd in the index,” said the statement.

Ficci said India improved its ranking in the World Bank’s Doing Business Index to 130 in 2015, up four places from 134 in 2014 and rose up on the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitive Index for 2015-16 by 16 places to 55th position.

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“The results of the survey provide industry experts and government decision-makers with an important tool to holistically analyse the impact of various risks, so as to plan and execute strategies to prevent, mitigate or control the impact of these risks to business establishments,” the survey added.



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