As the man who presided over the economy through four “India Story” years shifted from one wing of the North Block to another wing in a grim national mood, industry leaders praised his vision, but noted that the slowing economy he was leaving behind was a difficult one, and the new challenge he faced was daunting.
P Chidambaram’s shift to turn Home Minister after holding the reins in the Finance Ministry following the exit of Shivraj Patil in the wake of the attack on Mumbai evoked confidence from VN Dhoot, chairman of the Videocon group.
“Chidambaram is a visionary and extremely intelligent. I have full faith in him that he will do extremely well in his new assignment. He will be able to control terrorism and incidents like the one in Mumbai can be avoided,” Dhoot said.
Amit Mitra, secretary-general of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) said, “His job as finance minister was challenging, especially in the current global economic context, his new job would be equally challenging.”
Surinder Kapur, chairman of Sona Koyo Group, said Manmohan Singh’s decision to keep the finance portfolio was significant in view of the gloom gripping the financial markets and the spectre of economic depression. “The Prime Minister's decision to keep the finance portfolio with himself shows how serious the government is about the current economic situation.”
“I hope he is much more action-oriented and takes appropriate action against terror,” said Harsh Mariwala, chairman of consumer goods firm Marico.
Vikram Kaushik, managing director of satellite broadcaster Tata Sky said, “Chidambaram is a very experienced administrator. He is somebody who is seen to be firm and disciplined in his approach. So, I think, the move will instill a sense of confidence.”