Vice President Venkaiah Naidu Saturday urged the leading industrialists of the country to follow ethical corporate business practices, protect the interest of stakeholders and discharge their wider social responsibilities while pursuing their business interest.
While giving away the Economic Times Corporate Excellence Award in Mumbai on Saturday, Vice President told the leading industrialists that no one expected the businesses to be run as charities or philanthropic organizations but please make sure that you behave responsibly.
Referring to the steady increase in the non performing assets of public sector banks that compelled the government to announce a massive bank recapitalisation programme this week, Vice President said: ‘The image of India Inc has taken a beating in recent years due to various scams and instances of crony capitalism as large loans were taken by borrowing public money and are now not being repaid.’
He said all these developments have dented the reputation of Indian business in the eyes of the public.
Vice President said that while the people had no problem with wealth creation but they lose faith in the Indian business as well as the system when they see adoption of wrong means, diversion of funds and non-repayment of loans worth thousands of crores.
Advising the top industry captains, Vice President Naidu said it was not his intention to lecture anyone but to urge them to take note of his words as a gentle message from a well-wisher and see what can be done to remedy the situation.
He said: ‘India Inc and the Indian State should collectively ensure this so that every asset of ours becomes a performing asset.’
Vice President said that the initiatives taken by the Government to curb unethical business practices have been well received and every reformatory measure will face some hiccups in the initial stages.
Talking about the shrill debate that is going on over the issues of GST and demonetisation, Vice President said that there was a political consensus over the need for reforms but it should not lead to a discord as the country has already paid enough on account of socio-economic discord and it quickly needs to make up for the lost time and opportunities.
Naidu said bold reforms with clear vision and purpose have to be implemented with missionary zeal unmindful of temporary setbacks.
While congratulating the winners that included finance minister Arun Jaitley and chairman of Reliance Industries Mukesh Ambani among others Mr. Naidu said that the winners of The Economic Times Awards are trail-blazers in their respective areas.
Praising the finance minister for the smooth functioning of the GST council, Vice President said: ‘Several well considered and far reaching reform initiatives have been introduced during this short period. I can say with confidence that only he could have made the GST council function in the smooth manner that it has done.’
Talking about the neglect of agriculture sector over the decades, Vice President said that there was need to liberate the farm sector from a host of shackles that are pulling it down and by and large farm sector is still out of the pale of reforms.
Mr. Naidu said: ‘Agriculture and industry shall be looked at as the two eyes of our economy.’