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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

Political dynamics slowing decision-making in India: Mittal

PTI  New Delhi, July 25, 2012
First Published: 20:36 IST(25/7/2012) | Last Updated: 20:42 IST(25/7/2012)

NRI billionaire and ArcelorMittal chief Lakshmi Mittal on Wednesday once again criticised the decision-making in India, saying that changing political dynamics have made it slow.


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"There has been a slowdown in some of the processes in India. Every one understands the political dynamics developing in the country has slowed down the decision-making process and some of the approvals in the country," he said in a conference call while announcing ArcelorMittal's second quarter results.

He, however, clarified that he is not critical of India but the slow decision making process in the country is hurting the sentiments.

"I have not been critical of India. What I have stated is the situation that things have clearly slowed down, influenced by the global economic crisis as well as some of the internal issues of the country," he said.

Last month also Mittal had said that country is potentially condemning millions to remain in poverty by not helping industrialisation and there are understandable challenges in India relating to land acquisition and raw materials, which needs to be overcome swiftly.

Mittal's comment had evoked sharp reaction from Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma, who alleged that ArcelorMittal has never constructed a new plant and is in the business of buying sick units.

Mittal's frustration might have stemmed from the fact that his firm ArcelorMittal has not been able to implement its $ 30 billion projects in India despite announcing its first projects almost six years back.

ArcelorMittal's India investment plans include setting up of a 12 million tonne per annum (MTPA) steel plant each in Jharkhand and Odisha and a smaller 6 mtpa plant in Karnataka.

Few days back, country's largest engineering and construction firm Larsen and Toubro (L&T) had also criticised the government for delayed policy measures and slowdown in industrial production.

Infosys chairman emeritus NR Narayana Murthy and Wipro head Azim Premji are some of the other industry leaders who have criticised the Congress-led UPA government for procastinating on economic policy measures.

The Manmohan Singh-led UPA-II government had been facing flak from different quarters including the domestic industry and trade leaders for policy inaction. Rating agencies also joined in and warned that India could be downgraded amid country's GDP growth plunging to a nine year low of 6.5% in the last financial year.

HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh had earlier raised concerns over the slow pace of economic reforms and lack of required policy measures, while Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who was in New Delhi recently, has termed India's business environment as "complicated".


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