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HindustanTimes Tue,02 Sep 2014

Tata bats for PM, but seeks radical reforms

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 19, 2012
First Published: 11:15 IST(19/7/2012) | Last Updated: 03:00 IST(20/7/2012)

Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata on Thursday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to implement pending reforms and hit out at the Opposition, media and some ruling party members for blaming Singh for India’s economic woes.

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"Now is the moment in time our Prime Minister must break convention, restore government credibility, place the country on a growth path once again by implementing promised reforms, removing roadblocks to growth and controlling crony capitalism," Tata said in note posted on his Twitter page.

All eyes are on the Prime Minister in India and overseas, "in what could be his finest hour in leading the country to economic prosperity once again," said Tata.

"He will need to act boldly to be courageous and to do the right thing. For the sake of the country, we hope he will."

Singh has taken charge as the finance minister following Pranab Mukherjee’s resignation and many expect him, an economist by training, to steer the economy already battling a string of problems — from a sharp slowdown in growth to a free-falling rupee to rising prices.

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Tata said "government action has been too little too late" as India has lost growth momentum over the past 12 months with investor confidence declining and inflation soaring.

"...but to single out and blame the Prime Minister is grossly misdirected," said Tata, who will step down as the chairman of the $83-billion (Rs 3.8 lakh-crore in 2010-11) Tata Group in December, said. He said he was "depressed to see the attacks on India" and "felt obliged to express my feelings".

"It is sad and unfortunate that in the past few months the Opposition, the media, some private citizens and even some members of the ruling party have mercilessly spoken and written about our Prime Minister — a person who was the architect of the '91 reforms, which brought economic prosperity and international recognition to our country."

"They have also chosen to overlook the fact that this warm-hearted Prime Minister has led our country with great personal dignity and integrity," Tata added.

Tata also hit out at the Opposition for the "single-minded goal" to "topple the government, the allegations, accusations of corruption and illegal acts which have brought almost all government action to a standstill."

"We should all be concerned about the unconfirmed sensationalised stories in the media to sell publications, the manipulation of policy by power brokers,  and powerful vested interest groups to meet their self-serving desire to continue protection," Tata said.

Tata also expressed concern about the policy changes which have "destroyed the credibility of India."




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