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Bajaj, minister spar over govt-growth link

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Gurgaon, November 07, 2012
First Published: 22:02 IST(7/11/2012) | Last Updated: 23:18 IST(7/11/2012)

Law minister Ashwani Kumar and Bajaj Auto chairman Rahul Bajaj got into a verbal spat at a panel discussion during the World Economic Forum’s Indian conference. The session, “Rebooting India”, focused on ways to revive the economy.


Bajaj, a panelist at the session, complained about the policy environment and said his firm had been able to grow “inspite of the government”.

“We decided many years, in fact, many decades ago that we will not do any business where we have to deal with the government. We don’t manufacture, we don’t buy things for the government...We are in motorcycles, the financial services...,” he said.

Bajaj’s comments, however, did not go down well with Kumar, who asserted that the company had made extremely high profits in the last few years.

“Yes, there are no perfect situations and no perfect solutions... but if we were doing everything wrong in terms of policy, how is it that Bajaj Auto is one of the most successful organisations in the last few years, recording some of the highest profit levels?” Kumar asked.

Other panelists at the session included N Chandrasekaran, CEO and MD of TCS,  Paul Bulcke, CEO of Nestle, and Gita Gopinath, professor, economics, at Harvard University.

2G bids a flop show: Mittal
The reserve price of Rs. 14,000 crore set for airwaves is “too high” and the auction of 2G spectrum will be over on the first day itself, Bharti group chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said on Wednesday. Next week, the government is auctioning spectrum at a minimum bid price of Rs. 14,000 crore for 5 MHz of airwaves for all the country’s 22 telecom zones. The auction base price is more than seven times that the carriers paid in earlier sales where airwaves were bundled with telecom permits.


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