New Delhi: Holding that terrorists from Pakistan targeted Mumbai to hit India’s economy, Government on Thursday said it is fully aware that security was not only of paramount importance but deeply intertwined with the running of business in the country.
“The government is fully aware and seized of the fact that security is not only of paramount importance in the life of the nation but is also deeply intertwined to the running of business in our country,” external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee said.
“And that is why terrorists from Pakistan chose targets that included centres of business and global corporate vistas to Mumbai,” he said in the inaugural address to the 81st Annual General Meeting of Ficci.
Underlining that a comprehensive approach needs to be taken to counter the multi-dimensional challenges of terrorism, he said, “the Mumbai attack of 26/11 was only the most recent and the most gruesome example of this scourge of terrorism that needs to be tackled in a resolute manner”.
Mukherjee said the government had taken a large number of measures and significant steps to strengthen the apparatus for dealing with the multiple and emerging challenges to national and internal security.
On challenges before the country following the global crisis, Mukherjee said, “There is a need to sustain foreign trade, revive investments and generate domestic demand in order to maintain growth rates.”
The unprecedented global financial crisis, Mukherjee said, calls for “crafting a new international economic order to put the global economy on a sound footing.” On India’s role, he said the country remains committed to working with foreign partners, including the G-20, for devising a new financial architecture.
In his address, Ficci president Rajeev Chandrasekhar called for more steps to boost the economy and suggested that the Government should address slowdown by providing a 2-3% interest subsidy and direct tax reliefs. “These two steps, along with concerted efforts to restart the economy by using minimum alternate tax, dividend distribution tax as offsetable (allowing deduction) against investments, can form a package of real fiscal steps to push start the economy in the short run,” he said.
Consumer spending, Chandrasekhar said, would start only if there are sharp increases in disposable income and “this will require the government to look at direct tax reliefs, which both the stimulus packages have not touched.”
The Government has come out with two stimulus packages to boost the economy reeling under the impact of the global financial meltdown.