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India Inc goes gaga over Manmohan

May 19, 2004 20:54 IST

Corporate India on Wednesday welcomed the election of Manmohan Singh as Congress Parliamentary Party leader, paving the way for his becoming the prime minister, even as it fell short of words in praise of Congress President Sonia Gandhi for giving up the top post.

Corporate honchos expressed confidence that Manmohan Singh as prime minister would take the economic reforms, initiated by him in 1991, to their logical conclusion.

"It (Manmohan Singh's elevation to the prime minister's post) is a very good development," Godrej Group Chairman Adi Godrej said.

"Singh is a very good administrator. He will be able to give a good leadership to the country," he said.

Talking about Singh's clean image, Electrolux CEO Rajeev Karwal said being the architect of liberalisation, Manmohan Singh would prove to be an architect of a new value system in the country.

"I am sure he will provide India a very balanced economic leadership," he said.

Kinetic Chairman Arun Firodia said under Singh's prime ministership, the country would be run on sound economic policies which were the need of the hour.

"I do not think the Left parties will put undue pressure on the Government as far as labour reforms are concerned. In the case of divestment, blue chip PSUs like ONGC need not be touched, while the government should carry on with privatisation in companies like Scooter India where it does not have any strategic interest," Firodia said.

"Manmohan Singh, the architect of economic reforms, would be able to carry forward the process and drive the country on higher growth trajectory," N Srinivasan, Director General of Confederation of Indian Industry, said.

Appreciating the decision taken by Gandhi, he said, "Sonia Gandhi's stature has gone up tremendously by not taking the prime ministership and recommending the name of Dr Singh known for balance, knowledge of economy, humility, simplicity, sensitivity and ability to listen to people."

Echoing his sentiments, Assocham President M K Sanghi congratulated Sonia Gandhi for taking the decision as per her conscience and extended total support of trade and industry to the new government for carrying the country forward.

He said the chamber was hopeful that architect of country's liberlisation policies, Singh, would give further impetus to reforms particularly in the field of agriculture, financial sector, labour and education.

FICCI President Y K Modi said Singh was respected across the political spectrum in the country and recognised globally.

"He is of highest integrity, simplicity in his personal life with immense intellectual clarity. These virtues will help him to continue and deepen reforms in a coalition environment," Modi said.

He said Singh would push the reforms down to the level of agriculture, rural areas and the masses.

Sanghi appealed to all political parties to support economic reforms for generating employment opportunities both in rural as well as urban areas to make country globally competitive.

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