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L N Mittal bags Asia Society 'Leadership Award'
Dharam Shourie in New York | December 07, 2006 13:19 IST
NRI steel tycoon Lakshmi N Mittal has expressed confidence that the fast-growing economies of India and China would have a positive impact on world economy but cautioned the two south Asian giants of social problems arising out of increasing income disparities.
Mittal was speaking at the 50th anniversary dinner of the Asia Society in Washington on Wednesday night that honoured him with its 'Leadership Award' for business acumen, entrepreneurship and tenacity, especially witnessed during his takeover bid of Arcelor.
"Indians can be rightly proud of the epic, blockbuster and historic deal that he (Mittal) managed despite odds. It was the result of Mittal's vision, capability and tenacity that the Arcelor deal went through," managing director of Goldman Sachs Henry Cornell, who presented the award to Mittal, said.
The Asia Society also honoured chairman and CEO of Citigroup Charles O Prince with the Leadership Award for his contribution to the financial sector.
Mittal said the four years of high, sustained economic growth of India has given rise to the expectation that the "growth has come to stay" as had happened in case of Japan and China.
"What makes argument convincing is that the growth was not triggered as much by the government action as by the strong initiative of the private sector," he said.
But as in the case of China, sustained growth has given rise to "widespread disparities" in the income levels and despite growing rural prosperity, the number of families below the poverty line has declined only marginally, he said.