By BS Reporter
Meeting assumes significance after expectations of a push in reforms have faded with the opposition from allies in the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance govt
Amid political compulsions jeopardising the government’s push for reforms such as diesel price deregulation, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to meet India Inc next week to boost the sentiment.
A senior official from the Prime Minister’s Office told Business Standard, “There is a proposal of such a meeting with industry captains for galvanising trade and industry.” Though the official said no date had been fixed for the meeting, it is expected to be held around August 1. This would be the first meeting between the prime minister and industry leaders after he took additional charge of the finance ministry on June 26.
The meeting assumes significance, as expectations of a push in reforms, especially foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail and aviation and the deregulation of diesel prices, after the presidential elections have faded in the last few days, owing to opposition from allies in the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government.
On December 22, 2011, Singh had met top industrialists at a meeting of the Prime Minister’s Council on Trade and Industry. Among those who attended the meeting were Tata Sons Chairman Ratan Tata, Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, Bharti Enterprises Chairman Sunil Mittal and Bajaj Group Chairman Rahul Bajaj. At the meeting, the prime minister had told business leaders not to let the atmosphere of gloom affect them. He had assured them his government remained committed to the reforms agenda, to help industry achieve its potential.
Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council chairman, C Rangarajan, had also attended the meeting.
Other eminent industrialists who took part in the meeting, included noted banker Deepak Parekh, Infosys founder N Narayana Murthy and Sunil Kant Munjal of the Hero Group.
Amid concern on the slowdown in the economy and the shrinking industrial output, the prime minister had assured industry leaders the government was determined to return to the growth path.
At that meeting, too, industry leaders had raised concern on reforms. Since then, growth in gross domestic product has further deteriorated and it is expected growth in 2012-13 would be even lower than 6.5 per cent in 2011-12.