Godrej to Bajaj, top industrialists warn: Paralysis can erode faith in Parliament

The petition, signed by 23,000 people, urges all political parties to end the stalemate and begin a process for passage of key reforms Bills.

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The NDA government and the Congress met on Monday in an effort to clear the logjam over the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill and decided to hold further discussions on the issue of securing passage for the legislation during the ongoing winter session of Parliament.

Top industrialists, including Rahul Bajaj, Adi Godrej, Biocon chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and Infosys co-founder K Gopalakrishnan, are among the 23,000 people who have signed an online petition to end the Parliament logjam.

The petition urges all political parties to end the stalemate and begin a process for passage of key reforms Bills.

The petition evoked strong protests from the Opposition, with JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav claiming that the attack on Parliament by “capitalists” showed that the BJP government was “a government for money bags”.

Others who signed the petition include Rajesh Shah, co-chairman and MD of Mukand Ltd, Sunil Kant Munjal of Hero Corporate Services, Rajive Kaul, chairman of Nicco Corporation, Atul Punj, chairman of Punj Lloyd, and Vikram Kirloskar, vice-chairman of Toyota Kirloskar Motor.

“Important laws which improve India’s growth rate are held up. GST has taken a long time in coming and has taken years of consensus building, and CII has time and again reiterated that this could significantly contribute to India’s and states’ growth,” said the petition, initiated by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), on the website

“Recent events have been disheartening. They have the potential of eroding popular faith in Parliament. Perpetual disruption can never be the rule. Street demonstrations against the Chair of the Lower House are of unprecedented scale,” it said.

CII president Sumit Mazumder said, “Today, key Bills including GST, the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation (Second Amendment) Bill, the Electricity Amendment Bill, etc are pending discussion and passage. We wish attention can be devoted to these.”

“The pace of reforms that we have seen in the last two sessions of Parliament should have continued unabated in this session too,” he added.

Godrej group chairman Adi Godrej said, “The relevant bill for its (GST’s) introduction must be passed in this Parliamentary session if this vital tax reform is to be introduced by April 1, 2016. The GST is one of the most critical reforms for India… But for this the Parliament must transact business.”

Supreme Court lawyer Harish Salve said, “While the new government is clean and trying to resolve issues, it has not been able to get rid of suspicion in the minds of people. Even now, any commercially favourable policy is viewed with a lot of suspicion… as a result policy making is being pushed behind.”

“All I would like to say at this point is that Mr Modi is working very hard, he is is a determined person but we will have to be a bit patient,” said Infosys chairman emeritus N R Narayana Murthy.

Vinayak Chatterjee, chairman of Feedback Infra, said, “The Parliament logjam has raised concerns over proactive legislative business in the monsoon session. These bills are aimed at easing business, standardising tax structures and faster dispute resolution. Delays therein are affecting economic issues…”

DCM Shriram chairman Ajay Shriram said, “At a time when India is widely expected to contribute to global growth, delay in the reforms process can moderate this pace. Industry expects that our leaders would seize the window of opportunity for the country for expediting growth, which is so important in this stage of India’s development.”

Videocon group chairman Venugopal Dhoot said he’s bullish about the economy and the smooth passage of key Bills can accelerate growth. “The government is moving in the right direction. Current account deficit has come down. Inflation is coming down. GDP is growing as compared to last year. Interest rates are also slated to come down. What more you need? Crucial reform bills should be cleared without delay,” Dhoot said.

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First published on: 13-08-2015 at 09:28 IST