Industrialist Kiran Mazumdar Shaw on Monday said India Inc was “neither anti-national nor anti-government”, reported PTI. The Biocon chairperson and managing director’s comments come after veteran industrialist Rahul Bajaj’s remark that India Inc was afraid of criticising the Narendra Modi-led government.
“Madam, we are neither anti national nor anti government,” Shaw said in response to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman who said it was better for a person to seek an answer than spreading his own impressions. “We want you to succeed big time as fastest growing economy and rise to the top of the global league of economies. I am a proud apolitical National and only want the government to promote good policies including at state level.”
On Saturday, Bajaj directed questions to Sitharaman, Home Minister Amit Shah and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal at The Economic Times’ ET Awards 2019 event in Mumbai. “During UPA-II [second term of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance], we could abuse anyone,” Bajaj said. “You are doing good work, but if we want to openly criticise you, [but] there is no confidence you will appreciate that. I may be wrong but everyone feels that.” Bajaj noted that no one else from the business community would raise this matter.
Shaw said it was unfortunate that a positive response from Amit Shah was followed by comments from various Bharatiya Janata Party leaders “which are not correct”. On Sunday, Union ministers and BJP leaders responded to the Bajaj Group chairperson’s concerns. Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri alleged there were fake narratives while BJP’s IT cell in charge Amit Malviya shared old videos that purportedly show the industrialist praising Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
Malviya also accused Shaw of having a political motive behind supporting Bajaj. “Ridiculous,” responded Shaw. “I am extremely apolitical and critical of UPA-2.”
Shaw said the government should be open to suggestions instead of listening to only those it believes are supporters.
“There is an economic slowdown,” she told NDTV. Figures released last week showed that Gross Domestic Product growth slumped to a six-year low in October even as industrial output contracted. “They must listen to multiple voices and multiple quarters to look at what is possible. If they only listen to those voices who they think are their supporters and don’t want to listen to others perceived as anti-national or anti-government, we are not going to get all the suggestions. Right now, I still believe they are dealing with us at arm’s length.”
Shaw said it was very important for the government to build a bridge with corporate India. “This cloud [over the state of economy] will lift when Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Finance Minister and Commerce Minister actually call a bunch of CEOs and has a roundtable discussion on the economy,” she added.
Earlier also, Shaw had supported Bajaj and said the government treated India Inc as “pariahs”. She had tweeted: “Hope the govt reaches out to India Inc for working out solutions to revive consumption n growth. So far we are all pariahs and govt does not want to hear any criticism of our economy.”