Wipro Chairman Azim Premji has slammed the government over various policy paralyses in the country. In an equity analyst call in Mumbai on Tuesday, he said the government lacked interest in initiating policies for growth.
An analyst who participated in the call, on the condition of anonymity, quoted Premji as saying, “The government has to act now; there is a need for regulatory changes. If we do not change, we would be down for years.”
Premji’s criticism comes at a time when global rating agency Standard & Poor’s has cautioned India might become the first BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) country to lose its investment-grade rating, unless growth issues were addressed. The agency also said the slowing gross domestic product growth and roadblocks in policymaking could lead to the downgrade.
Another analyst who participated in the call on Tuesday said, “There are concerns on the government’s performance. Azim Premji, being a veteran, has expressed his concern on policy roadblocks affecting the country.”
In early 2011, Premji had written to the government, stating the need for policy reforms in the judicial and electoral systems. In his letter, he had stated the government needed to take various steps to curb corruption in the country. Industry captains like Jamshyd Godrej, Keshub Mahindra and Deepak Parekh, along with former Reserve Bank of India governor Bimal Jalan, had also written to the government, highlighting industry concerns.
Recently, Infosys founder and Chairman Emeritus Narayana Murthy had said the government should frame policies that could address growth. There should be an investor-friendly ecosystem to bring in more foreign direct investment into the country, he had said.
Premji on Tuesday said Wipro remained cautiously optimistic on the demand for information technology services, given the global economic uncertainties, led by the euro zone debt crisis. If the rupee appreciated further, there could be risks to business, he said, adding Wipro was focusing on industrialising delivery to help deliver better solutions faster and at optimum costs.
In a report, Bank of America Merrill Lynch on Tuesday stated deal closures for Wipro were being extended by 30 to 45 days. It added the company's pricing was broadly stable, though verticals like investment banking, telecom original equipment manufacturing and technology continued to remain under pressure. It said energy, utilities and healthcare were likely to lead the growth process.