The unprovoked outburst by the Union commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal wherein he called India Inc's business practices as being against national interests, has left corporates baffled. While the corporates may be feeling 'helpless' since even the Confederation of India Industry (CII), an industry body, removed the video of Mr Goyal's 19-minute tirade from its website, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), however, has supported Mr Goyal.
One industrialist, who did not want to be named, says, "This exposes the mindset of this government, everything else is just headline grabbing at the event. And if this is not the government's mindset then Mr Goyal should either be sacked or asked to issue a public apology. Otherwise, bureaucrats will take this as a reflection of government attitude and continue to harass the business community."
According to a report from The Hindu
, after the minister’s remarks at the annual meet of the Confederation of India Industry stirred up a hornets’ nest in the higher echelons of the government, the CII was asked to pull down the video from its YouTube channel. An edited version was uploaded on Thursday night but this too was blocked by Friday evening.
Mr Goyal also expressed deep anguish that Tata Sons had opposed the rules framed by his ministry to help consumers, the report says.
Quoting Mr Goyal the report says, "Me, Myself, My company —We all need to go beyond this approach...Kya aapke jaisi company, ek do aapne shaayad koi videshi company kharid li… Uska importance zyaada ho gaya, desh hith kam ho gaya? (A company like yours, maybe you bought one or two foreign companies, now their importance is greater than national interest?)"
While delivering the keynote address, the minister says that 75 years ago we worked to get freedom; now, we must work in mission mode to become aatmanirbhar. "We have a never-before opportunity to take the country to the sphere of fast-track growth, development and prosperity. At 75, it is about time we look at how far we have come and the journey ahead," he added.
In a statement, CAIT hailed Mr Goyal for urging Indian corporates to prioritise national interest above self-interest. BC Bhartia, national president, and Praveen Khandelwal, national secretary general of CAIT say, "It is highly unfortunate that a reputed name like the Tatas is opposing the government’s draft consumer protection rules for e-commerce which have been proposed to protect the consumers from the frivolous e-commerce companies as well as the large Indian and multinational e-commerce marketplace companies who manipulate end consumer pricing and do predatory/discriminatory pricing which may be attractive in the short run but will ultimately be against the interest of consumers."
Mr Goyal's outburst also evoked angry reactions on social media. Manish Tiwari, a member of Parliament (MP) and a senior national spokesperson of Congress commented, "You reap what you sow INDIA INC."