PM Modi chooses the brains of business barons to collapse News – India
Each industry captain was given 10 minutes to highlight concerns about their specific sector and problems with the economy and policies as a whole, with the prime minister pleading them to be frank. The meeting continued for almost three hours.
While pre-budget consultations between the finance minister and industry captains have been par for the course, Modi’s invitation to them was the first of its kind, at least in recent years. Apart from the Prime Minister, there was only one official present in the room, a format that many attendees saw as designed to encourage a free exchange of views. “There was extensive interaction with key business stalwarts to discuss ways to improve growth and job creation,” an official source said.
The prime minister himself was outspoken when he addressed some issues that were perceived to be gnawing at the industry, the jealous taxi driver, for example. “There is no need to worry, there is no witch hunt,” he was quoted as saying to his guests that included Tata Group president, Emeritus Ratan Tata, RIL Mukesh Ambani’s boss, AM Naik of L&T and Gautam Adani of the Adani Group.
Sunil Mittal of the Bharti Group, Bharat Forge CMD Baba Kalyani, Anil Agarwal of Vedanta and Anand Mahindra Group were among others who attended the session in the period prior to the first budget of Modi 2.0, which has acquired additional significance due to the expectation that it could mark an important intervention to overcome the downsand on the economy. On Thursday, the Prime Minister is scheduled to chair a meeting of experts at Niti Aayog, which, together with discussions with top businessmen, is expected to provide crucial inputs.
Revivis in investment has been a key issue of government, as it has sought to address sectoral concerns, while reducing corporation tax to 15% for start-upmanufacturing start-ups in three years. It is estimated that the economy has grown at a rate of 4.5% in the second quarter of the current financial year and the Central Bureau of Statistics will publish the estimates anticipated for 2019-20. Modi’s meeting with the industry comes at a time when the government is willing to comfort companies, some of which have said they “fear” investigative agencies.
On Monday, on his way to Kirloskar Brothers centennial celebrations, Modi said action against some corrupt entities should not be seen as a government crackdown on the corporate sector as he sought to quench fears in India Inc.
The Prime Minister said his government has dealt with professional, process-based governance. “Over the past five years, there has been an environment in the country to work with integrity and complete transparency,” he said.