Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday asked industry leaders, including Ratan Tata and Mukesh Ambani, to reach out to the rural economy and help the government on food security and affirmative action.

The corporate honchos raised concerns over the possible impact of the European financial crisis on the Indian economy. Dr. Singh reviewed the state of economy with Mr. Tata, Mr. Ambani, Azim Premji, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Swati Piramal, Chanda Kocchar, Deepak Parekh, Kesab Mahindra and Kiran Majumdar Shaw at the first meeting of the newly constituted Prime Minister's Council on Trade and Industry.

The Prime Minister asked them to form sub-groups on food security, public-private- partnership, backward area development and corporate social responsibility.

“The members held wide-ranging discussions on various issues, including use of clean technology for energy and economic security, R&D to further industrial growth, contribution of industries in food security and affirmative action for social inclusion,” a PMO statement said.

Dr. Singh was assisted by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister C. Rangarajan.

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