Storm past, skies cloudy
This was the year when corporate India fell out with the government. The unshackling of the relationship disrupted an understanding that had taken two decades to build. Everything else fell into this narrative. How it is repaired in 2012 will ensure how far we move away from the debris of a lost year.
It ended with the second quarter growth rate coming down to 6.9%, a mismanaged inflation and mutual recriminations which ended with the Prime Minister telling industry captains in a meeting in the last week of December to shun the blame game and move on in a somewhat positive frame of mind. The Indian political class, bureaucracy as well as the capitalist class can indeed script a new chapter of growth in 2012 if they work together on the massive pent-up investment demand in infrastructure like power, roads, ports, airport and housing. This can happen if the bitter recriminations of 2011 are truly left behind and a domestically-driven growth story is scripted in a public-private partnership mode.
The Prime Minister's meeting with prominent industrialists last fortnight may give some hope in this regard. The chairman of India's largest private sector company Reliance Industries(RIL) told the PM that he would invest over Rs 70,000 crore over the next two years. Other industry heads too
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