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Tata among first biz leaders UK PM met

S Kalyana Ramanathan  |  London 

The Prime Minister’s Office here has revealed that a month after his election victory in May, new PM David Cameron met Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata.

Tata was one of the few global business leaders whom Cameron had met soon after taking office. Others he’d met around the same time were media mogul Rupert Murdoch, representatives from Facebook and Wikipedia and political activist and philanthropist Bob Geldof. Cameron met with local heavyweights like BP in July.

Details of what was discussed at these meetings have not been revealed. The subject of the meeting with Tata has simply been listed as “to discuss business issues” and the meeting with Murdoch as “general”, while that with Facebook representatives as “to discuss media transparency issues”. Tata Group had played host to Cameron and his cabinet members when they visited India in July this year, in Mumbai where again the UK Prime Minister had met Ratan Tata. This meeting was listed as to “discuss business issues”.

This publication of important meetings held by the PM is part of the transparency policy introduced by the new coalition government in the UK.

Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude said, “The data published is yet another step-change, as we strive to make transparency integral to government business. The public have a right to see what we are doing and be able to access the data they need to hold politicians and public bodies to account.”

Cameron’s meeting with Ratan Tata soon after assuming office also stresses the importance of Tata Group in the UK, as the single largest manufacturer here. Tata Group’s presence in the UK, particularly in the manufacturing sector, is significant through its interest in steel major Corus (now Tata Steel Europe) and luxury car maker Jaguar Land Rover. It also has a strong presence through Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Communications and Tetley Tea.

The new quarterly report from 10, Downing Street, also lists the gifts received by the Prime Minister that have either been accepted or returned to the Treasury. The PM is allowed to buy the gifts if he wishes to keep any. The list shows he received a ‘rug’ from The Taj Mahal Hotel in New Delhi during his visit in July, which has been held by the government. Among the gifts he did not keep includes a painting he received from US President Barack Obama.

First Published: Sat, October 30 2010. 00:47 IST