New Delhi, Nov. 20: The captains of Indian industry trooped into senior party leader L.K. Advani’s residence on Thursday evening to share with him over three-hours the problems various sectors are facing during the on-going financial crisis. More importantly, they are reported to have conveyed the message to the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate that the current incremental measures being taken by the UPA government won’t work and what is really required is a more sweeping approach.
Among the corporate honchos who met Mr Advani — the invite had been extended by the leader of the Opposition himself — were the Ambani brothers, Mukesh and Anil, industry chamber presidents Rajiv Chandrashekhar (Ficci), S. Jindal (Assocham) and K.V. Kamath (CII), Sunil Bharti Mittal of Bharti Enterprises, Rahul Bajaj, chairman, Bajaj Auto and Shashi Ruia of Essar.
Apart from Mr Advani, among the other BJP leaders who participated in the nearly three-hour long meeting were former finance ministers in the NDA government, Yashwant Sinha and Jaswant Singh and former disinvestment minister, Arun Shourie. And as Mr Advani told the industry leaders, this is the first in a series of meetings that he plans to hold with representatives from various sectors of the economy. In his opening remarks at the meeting, Mr Advani said that “what is required to deal with the present crisis is more than a fire-fighting approach” He said a “systemic approach” is called for by going to the root of the problem. Further, he assured the industry leaders that the “first priority of a future NDA government will be to remove the atmosphere of pessimism and to bring back hope and confidence”. He also expressed the hope that Thursday’s meeting will help restore confidence in the system.
Among the areas in which the industry leaders are reported to have expressed concern was forex management. Mr Yashwant Sinha later told reporters that they drew attention to the continuing speculation in the forex market.