New Delhi: Sunil Mittal, president-in-waiting of industry lobby Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), said the government and industry need to come together to address social issues and ensure inclusive economic growth, an indication that the industry body could expand its initiatives to the social sector over the coming year.
Mittal, chairman of Bharti Enterprises and Bharti Airtel Ltd, said this at the annual regional meeting of CII, held to discuss the role of the industry body. At the meeting, Mittal said the government had not done enough. “The industry must contribute to the exchequer. But, it is the government’s job to put the money where it is needed most (the social sector),” he added. Mittal will take over as president of CII from R. Seshasayee, managing director, Ashok Leyland Ltd, at the end of April.
The industry lobby’s own record on the social front isn’t very good, said another speaker at the meeting. “The business of CII has overtaken CII,” said Gautam Thapar, chairman, Ballarpur Industries Ltd and a former president of the body’s northern region arm.
“The CII really needs to do something about its social agenda,” Thapar added.
Mani Shankar Aiyar, the minister for panchayati raj, who was also present at the meeting, said India could be headed for a period of jobless growth. Around 700 million people live below the poverty line, he said, and the economic reforms carried out by the government had made no difference to their lives.