Industry wants two years for AA: Mittal | india | Hindustan Times
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Industry wants two years for AA: Mittal

India Inc needs two years to demonstrate its commitment to voluntary affirmative action, says Bharti group chief and CII vice president Sunil Mittal.

india Updated: May 07, 2006 02:18 IST

India Inc needs two years to demonstrate its commitment to voluntary affirmative action, says Bharti group chief and CII vice president Sunil Mittal. But he is equally emphatic that the private sector will determinedly fight job reservations if the government tries thrust the job quota raj on it.

Mittal, whose Airtel brand offers telecom services, said in an interview to CNN-IBN said: “Give us two years for affirmative action by industry on a voluntary basis. If it fails then let the government start using the (legally enforceable job reservations) measures.”

Asked if he was saying this on behalf of the majority of industry, Mittal said “would say that in the last 10-20 days of this debate, within the CII at least, everybody and anybody who has been on the table for discussion supports this view.”

But he emphasised that if the government tried to force job reservations, it would hurt the industry’s competitiveness. “I would say anything that's going to hurt the industry's competitiveness would have to be fought. At which place, courts or outside courts, or politically needs to be dealt with,” Mittal told Karan Thapar his programme Devil’s Advocate, to be telecast on Sunday.

The CII V-P was positive that the Indian industry would not disappoint the government on this count. His confidence stemmed from the fact that the industry acknowledged the need to mainstream marginalised sections.

In fact, he said if the industry was to take a roll call to determine the percentage of people from weaker sections, “I think everybody would be surprised”. “The question is should we take that roll call. We believe it should not be taken.”