Hinduja gives thumbs-up to 100 days of Modi govt

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London
  • Updated: Sep 08, 2014 07:34 IST

Bullish after the first 100 days in office of the Narendra Modi government, Gopichand P Hinduja, co-chairman of the Hinduja Group of Companies, said on Saturday that he was finding “a change in the implementation” of projects that had been held up in India for a variety of reasons.

Hinduja, whose group recently committed to investing 10 billion dollars in investment projects in India, told newspersons on the sidelines of the first Sarat Bose Memorial Lecture at Lincoln’s Inn here that instead of major policy changes, the Modi government needed to focus on speedy clearances and implementation.

“My own power project was stuck for the last three and a half years just to get me the right of way to transport coal. The project was lying ready. I should congratulate the Modi government, they sorted it out in the very first 100 days. In the first week of November I am going to commission that project”, Hinduja said, referring to his group’s 1040MW coal-based merchant power plant in Andhra Pradesh.

He added: “Things are happening. I am finding a change in implementation. Modi’s team is working hard, but the systems and procedures which are there for the last 60 years, you cannot expect to change overnight. We have to be fair and give him time”.

Hinduja has committed 10 billion dollars to implement ‘distress’ projects that are held up as non-performing assets in banks. Such projects had been abandoned for a variety of reasons, and implementing them in the next 2 or 3 years would be one of the quickest ways to galvanise the economy.

According to Hinduja, who, alongwith his brother S P Hinduja figures among the richest in Britain, India is the “best destination for investment today”. He said the world was moving to India today, and added that “you don’t have to showcase India”. His group’s main thrust area were infrastructure and education.

Hinduja, who attended the Sarat Bose Memorial Lecture delivered by Business secretary Vince Cable, said he told the minister that India needed to be treated “totally differently” from its neighbouring countries.

“The United Kingdom has the biggest talent pool of the (Indian) diaspora. Where are they being used”, he asked, and added that he had given some specific ideas to Cable and would shortly meet him and his team to take them further.

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