Barely a fortnight after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's meeting with industry leaders, leader of opposition LK Advani on Thursday met over a dozen top industrialists to discuss steps to check industrial slowdown.
The Ambani brothers — Mukesh and Anil were present while Bajaj Auto chairman Rahul Bajaj was an addition to the list that included Bharti Enterprises’ Sunil and Rajan Mittal, ICICI Bank's KV Kamath, Sashi Ruia, Sajjan Jindal and Ficci president Rajeev Chandrasekhar.
Issues like acute shortage of liquidity, rupee depreciation and possible anti-dumping actions in some sectors were raised.
“The first priority of a future NDA government would be to remove insecurity and fear and bring back hope and confidence," Advani said. “Even though I am concerned about the health of our airlines, I am more concerned about the well being of our auto drivers and rickshaw pullers.”
With the focus on checking unemployment and generating more jobs, several longer term priorities emerged that will form the backbone of NDA's economic agenda. These included urgent employment generation, strengthening agriculture sector, developing infrastructure and furthering urban development and reforming the financial sector while insulating it from domestic and global risks.
"It was a free wheeling meeting and we put forward our views and concerns on the prevailing situation," said Sajjan Jindal, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, JSW Steel and President ASSOCHAM.