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Rediff.com  » Business » Vijay Mallya blames 'policy paralysis' for slowdown

Vijay Mallya blames 'policy paralysis' for slowdown

September 08, 2013 12:27 IST

Industrialist Vijay Mallya, whose group is in the midst of financial troubles, has blamed "policy paralysis" for India's slow growth, saying that the economic slowdown has dampened even the spirits industry.

He has also said that the overall mood of the Indian consumer remains subdued, while rupee depreciation, coupled with crippling inflation, is taking its toll on an already sluggish economy and a weak consumer market.

ReutersBlaming the "revenue-hungry" state governments and the sugar lobby for the rising costs in the spirits business, Mallya said that the overall economic environment in the country has been "challenging, to say the least".

"With a large, skilled, English-aware and young workforce, India should have found itself with a competitive edge vis-a-vis China," Mallya has written in his latest annual letter to shareholders of United Spirits ahead of its Annual General Meeting on September 24.

"Instead, lack of adequate investment in infrastructure, policy paralysis and loose fiscal administration has landed the economy in a situation of deteriorating public finances, high interest rates and spiraling inflation which even stringent monetary policies are unable to rein in," he said.

"The current account deficit has increased and industrial output remains stagnant, unable to provide enough jobs for the 12-odd million young Indians joining the workforce each year," the United Spirits Ltd chairman has said.

Mallya, who has often been called 'King of Good Times' for his flamboyant style and presence in businesses ranging from spirits to airline, has been seeing tough times across many of his businesses for many months now.

His UB Group's aviation venture Kingfisher Airlines has remained grounded for almost a year now under the burden of huge debts totalling over Rs 7,000 crore (Rs 70 billion) and accumulated losses of more than Rs 16,000 crore (Rs 160 billion).

The group also had to sell a significant stake in flagship firm United Spirits Ltd to UK-based global beverage giant Diageo, while another firm, Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilisers, recently saw two of its rival firms accumulating considerable stakes in the company.

However, the group as yet retains control of Mangalore Chemicals, while Mallya remains chairman of United Spirits.

For problems at Kingfisher, Mallya has already put the blame on staff strike, tax department's moves, "hostile" recovery practices of lenders, negative media statements, among other factors.

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