While India Inc is somewhat disappointed at the absence of new induction in Wednesday’s cabinet reshuffle, it is positively taken aback by the replacement of Praful Patel as civil aviation minister.
Vayalar Ravi, who had been holding the portfolio of overseas Indian affairs, will replace Patel, who moves on as minister for heavy industries.
However, the aviation industry is hopeful that the current policies will be furthered and government support for infrastructure development and air turbine fuel prices will continue.
“His (Ravi’s) priority area should be safety and not the commercial interest of airlines. Also, growth without infrastructure is dangerous and will yield no results. The new minister should proceed with caution,” said captain Mohan
Ranganathan, a Chennai-based aviation expert.
The reshuffle has evoked mixed response from industry.
Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) director general Rajiv Kumar, who is also an economist, told Hindustan Times the reshuffle underlined the importance of performance.
“The move seems to be directed at better performance … we believe the Cabinet would deliver better,” Kumar said.
“However, there was an expectation that a few fresh faces would be inducted. I am hopeful that will be the case in the next round of reshuffle promised after the budget.”
For the relatively stagnant steel sector, the appointment of the veteran Beni Prasad Verma as minister has raised hopes of growth gaining momentum.
“We will benefit from his experience and maybe the squabbles between the states and the Centre could be ironed out under his leadership,” a steel firm executive said.
Industry has welcomed Jaipal Reddy, who will take charge as minister for oil and natural gas, replacing Murli Deora, who goes to corporate affairs.
A senior executive said on anonymity: “Murli Deora is a nice man but was unable to push diplomatic deals, given India’s energy security needs.”
“Jaipal Reddy is much more vocal and can push India on the global energy map.”