Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday took a dig at the industry for taking business chambers lightly, saying businessmen only approach these bodies when they face problems.
Goyal said that many times he found at functions of CII, Ficci and Assocham only the current president, few past presidents, incoming presidents and possibly a few public spirited office bearers.
"Where was the trade and industry and business community when the nation needed them?" he said at an AIMA event here.
The minister requested AIMA President Sanjay Kirloskar and past president Harsh Pati Singhania, who were present at the function, to take this message to "all your colleagues and friends that associations are not to be taken lightly."
"Industry bodies and businesses are not something which you only go to when you are in trouble. These are organisations which have a national duty and a national role to play," he added.
Citing the example of the recent decision to increase import duty on toys, he said the toy industry has now become "super active".
"Why did they not improve the standards of toys in the past, why did they not give our children better quality toys, why did we kill our domestic industry and become dependent on low quality inferior stuff coming from other countries," Goyal questioned.
The government in the Union Budget raised import duty on toys from 20 per cent to 60 per cent. The toys associations are demanding rollback of the decision.
"I often feel very sad when I go to CII, Ficci, Assocham programmes. I find the current president, few past presidents, and the incoming presidents, possibly a few officer bearers, if at all they are public spirited...I do not know where you all managed to get the rest of the room filled up. What is the level of involvement?," he said.
On the other hand, when there is a problem in business or industry, they run to these chambers, the minister said.