President Pratibha Patil in her address to the nation on the eve of the Republic Day listed out the priorities — securing the country from terrorists as well as fundamentalist forces, and ushering in strong corporate governance to avoid losses as brought by the Satyam scam.
Without naming Pakistan or its links with 26/11 terror strikes, the President said the concerted and well-planned strikes in Mumbai stand out as an example of a ruthless operation undertaken to damage confidence.
“However, contrary to what terrorists had hoped, the event saw the emergence of a unified and strong voice from India.”
Patil said arguments (advanced by Pakistani leaders) that independent actors perpetuate terrorism were “self-defeating and unacceptable” and called upon countries and the international community to own up responsibilities to tackle the scourge.
She stressed the need for stronger corporate governance in the wake of losses to shareholders by “some companies that over-extended or functioned in an unethical” manner. “Such incidences profile the need for stronger corporate governance. There must be clear principles of accountability when such losses take place,” Patil said.
“The richness of a few cannot be at the cost of depriving others of their due. The traditional Indian ethics emphasised saving wisely, investing productively and not borrowing more than the capacity to repay. These hold valuable lessons for the business world.”
Stating that the global economic slowdown, triggered by some credit and banking institutions caused a “crisis of confidence”, Patil called for strengthening oversight mechanisms for financial institutions, and rules, which were clear, transparent and uniformly applied.
She said the instances of financial imprudence, which could put global welfare at jeopardy, could not be allowed to happen again. “India has been impacted by global environment. The crisis can be an opportunity to reinforce structures of our domestic economy…. We have a very large domestic market and by increasing purchasing power capacity of society, our economic development can be stimulated. We could even be one of the nations who can act as an engine to help revive the global economy.”