|Why blame India Inc?|
|Saturday, 24 December 2011 00:00|
Unfair of PM to blame industry for spreading gloom
Given how important members of India Inc have been quite vocal in their disappointment with the government failing to pass any meaningful legislation or clearing stuck projects for a very long time, it’s not surprising this has annoyed the Prime Minister. In his interaction with them, PM Manmohan Singh chided top industrialists for what he said was adding to the doom and gloom scenario. “It is a little disappointing,” he said, “to hear negative comments from our business leadership or be told that government’s policies are causing slowdown and pessimism. Such comments have added to uncertainty and have emboldened those who have no stake in our economic growth.” Investment and growth, he added, depended upon investor expectations.
But, seriously, did the PM expect anything else? He just needs to look at the track record of this latest Parliament—FDI in retail put off, Pension Bill put off, uncertainty over the Companies Bill, UIDAI demolished by the standing committee—to know this and not all of this, as we’ve said earlier, can be laid at the door of the Opposition. If India Inc is not going to protest about the step treatment meted out to it after having invested tens of thousands of crores of rupees, what else is it supposed to do? India Inc is beginning to invest more overseas as it finds this less problematic—if it is voicing its protest to the government, it is in the hope that things will get fixed here, and it can start investing at home again, this is to be lauded. Indeed, if Dr Singh wants India Inc to ‘set the highest standards of corporate governance’, interactions between it and the government have to move away from behind closed doors—the first requirement of that is some plain speaking.