Industry Practices Against National Interest: Piyush Goyal Targets Tata Group
Goyal accused Tata and others of not being ‘nationalistic’ and preferring profit over the interests of the country.
Targeting the 153-year-old Tata group, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday, 12 August, said the business practices of Indian industry went against national interests.
The 19-minute video of the minister’s remarks at the annual meet of the Confederation of India Industry has stirred up a controversy, resulting in the CII being asked to remove the video from its YouTube channel.
“Me, Myself, My company — We all need to go beyond this approach,” said Goyal, asserting that the Tata Sons had opposed rules to help consumers framed by his ministry, according to The Hindu that has a recording of the video.
The minister’s remarks came in response to a few CII members urging for support towards smaller firms that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
'Don't Let the Greed of Some Deprive the Need of Many'
He said companies should introspect their commitment to India.
“Kya aapke jaisi company, ek do aapne shaayad koi videshi company kharid li… Uska importance zyaada ho gaya, desh hith kam ho gaya? (A company like yours, maybe you bought one or two foreign companies, now their importance is greater than national interest)” he said.
He said that he had spoken about the same with Tata group chairman N Chandrasekharan. The Tata group has not commented on the matter.
“When I see Tata Sons that they are objecting for some consumer benefit laws or regulations that I am bringing in, then frankly it hurts. After buying a few foreign companies, that becomes more important than national good,” he said.
Goyal challenged Tata Steel to sell their commodities in Japan and Korea, as these countries are ‘nationalistic’ and don't buy imported steel; unlike the Indian industry that prefers profit over the interests of the country.
“Hum nationalistic spirit ki baat karte hain, to kai log humein media mein dakiyanoosi bolte hain, backward bulaate hain. Japan, Korea, mein koi backward nahi bulaata (When we talk of the nationalistic spirit, many in the media call us orthodox and backward. Nobody in Japan, Korea calls this backward),” he said.
He said that “too much profit in a few hands can lead to a lot of problems for a country” and urged industry leaders to not “let the greed of some deprive the need of many”.
Industry leaders were miffed that the minister had blamed them for not acting in the national interest.
Goyal Accused Industries of Breaking the Law
He also said that Indian firms structure FDI transactions in a manner that violates the spirit of the rules.
“I tell you all to rise above fanciful schemes…. the ways you are shown to structure transactions, add this caveat and put this structure. This is how the law can be broken, do this partnership that will be compliant of FDI rules… Lord knows where the spirit of the rules is, but somehow you squeeze it into the ambit of the rules,” the Minister said, according to media reports.
“At least you should resist the greed of these foreigners. You are welcome to do good, honest business. But in wrongdoings… when I read names that have entered partnerships with Falana Dhimkana (anyone and everyone),” he said.
He also criticised Uday (Kotak), Pawan (Goenka), Tatas, Ambanis, Bajajs, and the Birlas for not stepping up and offering early-stage funding for start-ups.
(With inputs from The Hindu)
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