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Tata denies accusing government of inaction

Tata denies accusing government of inaction

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Tata Sons today denied that group Chairman Ratan Tata has used words such as "venal" business environment or accused the government of "inaction" in media interviews.

"Tata Sons clarifies that in Mr. Ratan N Tata's interview with (a leading British financial) daily, he spoke about coherence in implementation of government policy rather than "lashes into the PM", "rapping India", "warning government of inaction" or "venal business environment", as has been reported in the daily and other media," said a statement from Tata Sons. (Read full statement here)

"These are terms used by the publications and not by Mr. Tata in any manner," it said.

"Tata Sons is surprised that reputed media entities have sensationalised the observations, without taking into cognisance the tone, tenor and context of the interview," the statement said.

According to a leading British daily, the outgoing head of the Tata business empire had warned that a lack of government support was preventing Indian industry from competing with China and lashed out at a "venal" business environment. The daily also said that Mr. Tata criticised what he called a lack of coherence in government policy and said the Mumbai-based group's ethical standards had cost it business. (Read More)

The newspaper further quoted Mr. Tata as accusing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of forcing it to look abroad by failing to address complaints about bureaucracy.

"Different agencies in the government have almost contradictory interpretations of the law, or interpretations of what should be done," the newspaper quoted him.

"These are things which by and large would drive investors away in most other countries," it added.

The Tata Sons statement said Mr Tata has always supported Prime Minister Manmohan Singh even when there was mass criticism of him and the last thing he would wish to do is to be a critic of the prime minister as has been reported.

Releasing excerpts of the interview with the British daily, the statement said Tata was asked why he still thought that "....the way india was being governed made it very difficult to grow business here and therefore you felt that Tata and Indian companies should look abroad."

In the answer he said, "Sometimes the issue is that different agencies of the government, different constituencies in the government, have almost contradictory interpretations of the law or different interpretations of what should be done.

"By that I mean there are differences between the Centre and the state in some cases. So you have a Central policy that is announced, on paper sounds very exciting but at the same state level is very difficult to operate.

"Singur would be one such example.  In other cases, it's that constituencies or government may have made it a personality issue." 

With inputs from AFP

Story first published on: December 08, 2012 14:39 (IST)

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