Our Very Own Bajaj

Updated: Nov 30 2002, 05:30am hrs
Bajaj Auto chairman Rahul Bajaj may not be the biggest industrialist in the country but he is among the better known Indian businessmen abroad. Mr Bajaj, who has been a co-chairman of the World Economic Forums (WEF) India Economic Summit for 18 consecutive years, now jokes that he should consider stepping down before the world thinks he has nothing better to do in life.

He has now been elected as co-chairman for the prestigious Commonwealth Business Council. And his appointment was celebrated in the capital recently at a gala party thrown by Rajya Sabha MP and Videocon group promoter Rajkumar Dhoot where the industrialist was felicitated by Lok Sabha Speaker Manohar Joshi. Also present were former prime ministers PV Narasimha Rao and Chandra Shekhar besides a galaxy of ministers, members of Parliament and industrialists.

In his inimitable style, Mr Bajaj was heard telling guests who congratulated him that he might be closely associated with the WEF or the Commonwealth Business Council, but he was an Indian first and always kept his countrys interest closest to his heart!

What Bail-out
Finance ministry mandarins arent the only people who detest the word bail-out. Each of the financial institutions now undergoing financial restructuring claims that it isnt a fit case for a bail-out. As senior officials of Industrial Development Bank of India recently elaborated, You bail out one who cannot help himself. We are not dependent on someone to do the bailing out for us. We simply want a little support on the legislative and regulatory side. The rest, we are insisting, we will manage. Have we asked for funds that you keep referring to our restructuring as a bail-out We have not defaulted on any commitment so far.

Indeed not. But then, does not asking debtors to roll over loans and not seek repayments of high-interest dues amount to seeking financial support, sniggered a banker. A smart alec in the FI claims that banks are better off without the funds...for repayments only add to the current excess liquidity in the system!