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CII concerned over action under political demand

BS Reporter 

Confederation of Indian Industry, the leading industry body, on Friday said the government should not cancel allocation of coal blocks under political pressure following the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General. “Every thing should go by the law. Action should not be taken because there is a political demand,” CII President Adi Godrej said at a media interaction in Mumbai.

Reiterating his stand that there is no need to cancel all the coal licences as being demanded by the opposition party BJP, Godrej said the government can not unilaterally take such a decision without giving out details.

Action should be taken if there are clear signs that law has been violated, he said.“The Government should not allow any malfeasance“.

CAG in its report has said the government suffered a presumptive loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crore in coal block allocations during 2004-2008, when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held the coal portfolio.

This has led to a washout of the Monsoon session of Parliament as BJP has been demanding PM’s resignation, besides the cancellation of all the coal blocks allocated.

Later in the day speaking to CII members he emphasised the implementation of GST to revive slowing economy.

“One of the biggest reforms that could contribute 1 – 1.5% to GDP growth is GST implementation. GST would help solve a lot of the country’s macro economic problems and CII has been working to build consensus at both states and the centre for its implementation”.

The industry body is also advocating further reduction in interest rates by 100 basis points by the end of the year accompanied by easing bank’s reserve ratio along with measures to unclog supply side to control inflation.

Speaking on natural resource allocation, Godrej said that auction is the preferred route but not the only route; however any route considered should be transparent and fair. He affirmed that the Shome committee report is welcomed by CII and hoped that the recommendations put forward would be considered by the government.

CII also emphasized the role of states to implement the next generation of economic reforms and suggested the bench marking of best practices of state.

First Published: Sat, September 08 2012. 00:37 IST