Trust between govt and industry critical, says FM Nirmala Sitharaman

Highlighting the importance of trust between the government and industry, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Monday that it was essential to leverage opportunities thrown up by the Covid-19 pandemic and take the country one generation ahead.

The trust between the two sides was reflected in the government’s actions, Sitharaman said while addressing members of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in Chennai.

India Inc has come under criticism recently for various reasons. Earlier this month, RSS mouthpiece Panchajanya called Infosys anti-national in a report while referring to the IT company’s failure to fix the glitches in the income-tax portal. The RSS later distanced itself from the report. Recently, Sitharaman said it was not right to call Infosys anti-national. In another instance, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal had said during an industry interaction in August that some companies, including the Tata group, had acted against national interest and that local businesses shouldn’t just think of profit. The Tatas had opposed some of the proposed rules in the e-commerce policy.

Sitharaman, however, encouraged continuous feedback and inputs from India Inc, and said discussions with industry had enabled the government to take a series of actions as the pandemic situation evolved.

On the government’s strategy for handling the pandemic, the finance minister said that on the one hand, the focus was on ramping up vaccination, but on the other hand, the government was working to upgrade health infrastructure, including in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities, by supporting the private sector. India has so far administered at least one dose of Covid vaccine to 744 million people.

Sitharaman assured India Inc that liquidity was no longer a major concern. She added that the bank-NBFC-MFI channel had been de-clogged, and from October 15 there would be a special drive to reach out to those who need credit.

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