Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani has said the recent controversy over making knowledge of Marathi mandatory for issuing taxi permits in Mumbai was unfortunate and said the metropolis belongs to all of India.
"We are all Indians first. Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi belong to all Indians. That is the reality," he said on Tuesday during a panel discussion at the London School of Economics organised to release Rajya Sabha MP N K Singh's book, Not by Reason Alone: The Politics of Change.
Ambani's remark that while India's corporate world had moved away from 'licence raj' after economic liberalisation, Mumbai's "poor taxi-walla is still dealing with licence raj" was received with applause from the gathering.
Responding to a question on the taxi drivers controversy, Ambani said the real challenge and opportunity was whether
India was able to create 15 to 20 million new jobs every year.
The Maharashtra government has, however, rescinded its order on making knowledge of Marathi a pre-condition to
awarding taxi permits a day after proposing it.
"Employment is the biggest challenge in the coming years. We are not moving fast enough," Ambani said.
Rajya Sabha MP N K Singh termed the controversy over renewing taxi licences in Mumbai as "misplaced populism".