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Monday, December 23, 2013

India Inc lauds Rahul Gandhi's comments on reforms and growth

India Inc lauds views of Rahul Gandhi on reforms and growth
New Delhi: India Inc has welcomed Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi's views on the urgency to focus on growth and transparency and said that he has touched the real issues being faced by the industry and it would encourage investor sentiment.

"His talk is comprehensive and touches real issues, which industry has been trying to grapple with in recent times. Rahul Gandhi's talk is reflective of the fact that he has his ears to the ground...even as the economy has slowed down and investor confidence is not at its peak," Kris Gopalakrishnan, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) President said in a statement. “At a time, when questions have been raised about India's commitment to reforms and growth, Rahul Gandhi's comments are music to the ears of investors, who would draw confidence from his speech” he added.

Showing a new, proactive face of the party as Rahul Gandhi had promised after the recent assembly election reverses, he also appeared forthright in addressing issues and some of his comments evoked applause. The Congress Vice President said that the Congress party needs to accept the message of people in the wake of its poll debacle with humility without "excuse making". He also injected topical humour in his speech as he referred to election results, he said he now knows "how it feels when you have to go to your AGMs with bad news".

Interacting with business leaders and responding to their concerns on Saturday at 86th AGM of FICCI, Rahul Gandhi talked about the problems of inflation, delay in clearances, accountability and transparency while underlining the need for pushing the growth to alleviate poverty and making the country the largest economy by the time it turns 100-years old.

Bharti Enterprises vice chairman and MD Rajan Bharti Mittal termed Rahul Gandhi's interaction with the industry as very positive and said, "It was heartening to hear his comments on the urgency to focus on growth and transparency, the issues that are key to bringing back the economy to its earlier growth rate."

Godrej Industries chairman Adi Godrej said the stress on resolving regulation and administrative procedures in Mr Gandhi's speech would greatly encourage investor sentiments and boost investments. "As he mentioned, decision-making requires to be transparent, timely and fair, while the initiatives on corruption have to be followed up with action," he said.

It was for the first time that a political leader of Rahul Gandhi's stature mentioned the need for a modern and flexible labour market of international standards, Sundaram-Clayton managing director Venu Srinivasan said and added, "Industry would welcome a dialogue on how to create fulfilling and rewarding jobs for our young people, as stated by Mr Gandhi".  Old labour laws have forced businesses to use contract labour, Rahul Gandhi had said in his speech on Saturday. "As you know, they are often underpaid and unprotected. India needs a modern and flexible labour market where labour has a fair share and is protected by international labour standards," the Congress leader had said.

The industry would now look forward to quick actions from the government, Hero MotoCorp joint managing director Sunil Kant Munjal said on Rahul Gandhi’s address at FICCI. "Rahul Gandhi has clearly identified the immediate problems regarding project delays and highlighted the issues that must be addressed, such as land acquisition, regulatory and administrative hurdles, and environmental clearances," he said further.

T.V. Mohandas Pai, chairman Aarin capital, said that Rahul Gandhi had been articulate and his speech had content and clarity. "It was a very, very good. It was a different Rahul Gandhi. (His) best speech I have heard," he added. Pai, who had earlier been associated with Infosys, said Rahul Gandhi had addressed the issues concerning his party upfront and had talked of the need of introspection in the wake of debacle that Congress suffered in the four Hindi heartland states. "The elections have shown anger of middle class. He (Gandhi) said that the government was listening to people," Pai said.

Jyotsna Suri, CMD of Lalit Suri Hospitality Group, said that Rahul Gandhi had addressed the perception among some people that he was anti-industry. "It was one of his better speeches... It was an encouraging speech," she said.

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