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Centre asks India Inc for consensus on economic reforms

Shishir Prashant/New Delhi/ Dehradun 24 Dec 12 | 12:32 AM

Admitting that foreign investments were drying up in the country, the Centre on Sunday appealed to the industry to help build a consensus on economic reforms, by linking the 30-40 crore below poverty line (BPL) people in India with the development process and criticised India Inc for not doing much in the social sector.

“There is no consensus on economic reforms and differences exist in ideologies. This is a challenge to the corporate world (that there should be a consensus on economic reforms). Only government efforts will not do everything," said Union water resource minister Harish Rawat at a seminar on social enterprises here. Rawat said the country must send a strong signal to the outside world on economic reforms and that India should not be seen divided on the issue.

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Rawat also flayed top-notch companies like BHEL and ONGC for doing minuscule work in the name of corporate social responsibility (CSR). “I was recently told that BHEL is distributing medicines among poor. We have good national health insurance schemes to take care of the people. The days have changed, all these companies should realise that merely distribution of medicines will not help," said Rawat.

Rawat appealed to India Inc to take up the rejuvenation of rivers like Bindal and Rispana which are dead tributaries of the river Ganga. “These companies can take up works like rejuvenation of tributaries of the Ganga river," Rawat said.

Rawat also expressed concern over the contamination of drinking water near the Sidcul industrial estate of Haridwar where big companies like HUL and Hero MotoCorp have set up manufacturing units. “I am not blaming the industry but the fact remains that even animals are dying after drinking such contaminated water in Sidcul area," Rawat said.

He added, “The story of 90 crore vibrant middle class in India is behind us. We should now focus on the 30-40 crore BPL people in order to increase their purchasing power."

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