Tough to say whether Narendra Modi would be good or not as PM: Adi Godrej

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Sep 2 2013, 20:23pm hrs
Adi GodrejI do know Narendra Modi has done a reasonably good job in Gujarat: Adi Godrej
It is difficult to say whether Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi would be good or not for industry and economy if he were to become the Prime Minister (PM), Godrej Group Chairman Adi Godrej has said.

"Now, I do know Narendra Modi has done a reasonably good job in Gujarat, may be if he becomes the Prime Minister he can do a good job at the Centre, but he has not been tested at the Centre.

"He has never been in the Union Cabinet. It's difficult to say," Godrej said when asked whether he believes Narendra Modi would he be good for Indian industry and Indian economy if he were to become the Prime Minister.

"Sometimes people are very good as chief minister of a state. They may not be as good central ministers or the Prime Minister. One has to see one has to check how it evolves," he said.

Asked about concerns that early elections would lead to political uncertainty, he said: "It's possible. If the third front does extremely well in the elections it could lead to certain uncertainty."

On Food Security Bill and Land Acquisition Bill, he said: "Those are clearly political moves, we have known along when the bills were introduced and passed in the Lok Sabha, that these are political issues. They will help solve certain social problems but it is going to make, especially the Land Acquisition Bill, things very difficult, especially for industries, housing and infrastructure."

According to him, the cost of land acquisition will rise very considerably that will lead to increasing cost of projects. It will mean that India's competitiveness will be negatively affected and this is not the best for economic growth, he said.

On economic growth which slipped 4.4 per cent in April- June quarter of this fiscal, he said: "I expect India will start growing well in the second half of this financial year, with agricultural output likely to be very good. It will have multiplier effect, so I expect the second half should be better than the first half."

When asked whether the government should vigorously use its reserves to defend the falling rupee he said: "I think some of the reserves should be used and the rupee should not be allowed to depreciate too much.

"Of course if you use up some of the reserves, we would find ways of getting those reserves back to the earlier levels. There is lot that can be done to attract remittances from the Indians abroad. Already remittances started growing."

On possibility of diesel price hike in the election year, he said diesel prices do not affect the common man directly too much. "I don't think they are going to do much on kerosene which would affect the common man."

Asked whether he believes the dream team (Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia) has lived up to expectations, Godrej said: "Well, I think economic decisions in the last year since Chidambaram became the Finance Minster have been taken sensibly. I think two or three things have gone a bit awry."

"One is the rupee has been allowed to depreciate far too much.... That needs to be corrected...the projects which have been held up must be passed quickly, if we won't do that then we won't restore the growth easily," he said.

On whether further reforms will take place before elections or not, he said: "I don't think the GST will get through very easily. There is a great work to be done. It's a shame because GST would have put us into an excellent situation right now because GST adds about 2 percentage points to our growth rate other things being equal."