Sandeep Joshi

Pledges full support of industry, corporate sector in nation-building exercise

  • Says reforms in education sector needed urgently
  • "Industrialisation is the only way forward"

    NEW DELHI: Pledging the full support of the industry and the corporate sector in the nation-building exercise, newly-elected Confederation of India Industry (CII) president Sunil Mittal has urged the Centre to take "bold steps" to trigger positive socio-economic changes in society so that more people belonging to the weaker and marginalised sections will benefit.

    In an interview to The Hindu , Mr. Mittal said the Government was the largest investor in all social and development programmes that required huge investments to be made a success. "For this, huge money is required and the Government needs to garner this capital by taking strong measures, and divestment could be one such method. Similarly, it needs to push the PPP [public-private-partnership] model in various areas to ensure speedy development," he added.

    Agreeing to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement that industry needs to act more positively towards nation-building, Mr. Mittal said though industry was contributing, it was miniscule in terms of the huge goals that needed to be achieved fast. "And if the Government wants industry and the corporate sector to act in a bigger way, it needs to take strong decisions, particularly on policy issues," he said.

    For instance, reforms in the education sector was needed urgently so that more private companies could enter the sector in a big way, the Bharti Group head said, adding, "education reforms will be the next big thing that will lead the nation's turnaround. Similarly, the private sector can participate in a big way in developing infrastructure."

    Regarding the "affirmative action" that the Government wants the Indian industry to take to make the growth more inclusive, the new CII chief said success had been a recent phenomenon for the industry that was still building its confidence and increasing its comfort level.