Billionaire investor and philanthropist Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of the US-based Berkshire Hathaway, met the top political leadership of the country on Friday, across political lines.
Buffett met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi in the afternoon.
Sources described the meeting with the PM as a courtesy call, after which Buffett was said to have been full of praise for both him and India. He said the PM was a “wise man”. No details of what was discussed in either meeting were released.
Before this, Buffett was hosted at a lunch by Rajya Sabha MP and HT Media chairperson Shobhana Bhartia, to which between 16 and 20 MPs were also invited.
The MPs interacted with Buffett, who had several questions for them. The MPs too asked Buffett for his opinions on several issues. The conversation ranged from India’s economic growth, caste, religion and philanthropy in India and the US.
The MPs’ delegation included Arun Jaitley (BJP), Jairam Ramesh, Salman Khurshid, Jayanthi Natarajan (Congress) and Jay Panda (BJD). Several other members of Parliament such as Sachin Pilot, Jitin Prasada, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Milind Deora were also present.
While impressed with India’s 8.5% GDP growth rate, Buffett told the MPs that the bigger challenge was to “bring that growth to the large parts of India’s population. You need to take actions that spread that prosperity to ever larger number of people.”
Income inequalities, common to India and the US, must end, he said.