Industry to sound alarm bells at meeting with prime minister

November 2nd, 2008 - 1:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Nov 2 (IANS) Leading industrialists and presidents of apex chambers are expected to ring the alarm bells before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when they meet him here Monday to present their viewpoint on the global financial crisis and its impact on the country’s corporate sector.The liquidity crisis in India, which has been the focus of the central bank and the government in recent weeks to tide over the fallout of the global meltdown and US recession, is just a part of the overall problem.

Industry leaders feel there is a clear and much larger danger of job losses, a freeze on fresh employment, lack of new investments and stagnating exports that could clearly retard the country’s overall economic growth, which was otherwise racing ahead at nine percent in the past three years.

“In fact signs of such a thing happening are already visible,” said Rajeev Chandrasekhar, president of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), who is among those invited to the Monday meeting.

“A steady, calm and complete approach is what is required at this very critical stage of expansion of our economy that as you realize is being driven primarily by private investments,” he said.

“These private projects are all at a critical stage of investment or expansion and any misstep at this stage could prove extremely disruptive to the real economy in the future.”

Others expected to participate in the brainstorming session include K.V. Kamath, president of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), and Sajjan Jindal, president of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham).

Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group chairman Anil Ambani, Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal, DLF chairman K.P. Singh and Infosys co-chairman Nandan Nilekani have also been invited.

Monday’s session also comes ahead of a meeting the next day called by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram with the chief executives of commercial banks, and the summit with world leaders on global financial crisis proposed by US President George W. Bush in Washington Nov 15 where Manmohan Singh is among those invited.

Manmohan Singh, himself, has been concerned over the developments.

“India cannot remain totally unaffected when the global economy and financial system are in deep trouble,” the prime minister had said recently during his return from Japan and China. “Sooner or later, the real economy is bound to experience the pain,” he warned.

“To say that I am not worried would not be correct. It is my duty as prime minister to worry when things don’t go as planned,” he said, while adding that he also could not hazard a guess on when the situation will improve.

“It all depends on how long it takes the world community to restore confidence to the global financial markets. We are not in complete control. There are bigger players and we are victims of that. The crisis is not of our making.”

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