One of the country's largest industry associations, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry will elect a new president to lead its activities in 2008-09.
The election will be part of the proceedings at the annual general meet (AGM) scheduled for February 15 and 16.
Former BPL Mobile head Rajeev Chandrasekhar, who is a Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament, will take over as Ficci president from Habil Khorakiwala, Chairman, Wockhardt Ltd. This will perhaps be one of the rare occasions in recent times that a serving MP will head an industry chamber like Ficci. Chandrasekhar is currently the Vice President of Ficci.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will address the inaugural session at the AGM, the theme of which is 'Propelling India's growth: The challenges ahead'. Last year, the theme was 'India rising: Challenge of growth, governance and equal opportunity'. The two-day meet will also be addressed by the Leader of Opposition in Parliament, LK Advani.
Started in 1927, on the advice of Mahatma Gandhi, Ficci has evolved over the years as one of the largest business organisations representing over 1,500 companies and over 500 chambers of commerce and business associations nationwide.
The AGM will see a gathering of around 1,000 delegates from the government, business community and civil society. The impact of the expected global slowdown led by the US would be the focal point of discussions on the first day.
Corporate bigwigs like Jamshed J Irani, Director, Tata Sons Ltd, Vikram Mehta, Chairman, Shell India, would discuss issues like corporate affairs in India and energy security.
"The AGM will touch upon the issues that have assumed significance in the last one year. These include climate change, the newly-drafted company's bill, the Competition Act, the entire non-conventional energy including nuclear energy and others," said Amit Mitra, Secretary General, Ficci.
Other representatives from the government, who would be addressing the two-day meet, include Commerce Minister Kamal Nath, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Petroleum Minister Murli Deora.