The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that world nations, led by the UN, should arrive at a consensus in refusing shelter to economic fugitives and create a framework for Extradition Treaties and exchange of information on black money. He was delivering keynote address after presenting Economic Times Awards 2018 for Corporate Excellence, in Mumbai on 17 November 2018. The Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley, the Union Minister for Railways and Coal, Piyush Goyal and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.
The Vice President called upon Corporate India and Banks to collectively work to ensure that every rupee is put to the most productive use. Congratulating the award winners, the Vice President said that these awards were indicators of the crucial role played by India inc. in the country’s onward journey towards becoming an economic superpower.
Expressing great optimism in India’s dream of becoming a $10 trillion economy soon, the Vice President highlighted several indicators of policy success such as the rise in the Direct Tax collection from Rs.6.38 lakh crore in 2013-14, to Rs.10.02 lakh crore in 2017-18, an increase of 57 per cent in four years.
Stressing that there is no place for ‘loot and scoot’ approach, the Vice President sought for constant vigilance, effective supervision and timely action to bring economic offenders and financial fugitives to justice so that the financial system can be restored to good health. He added that bad loans had crippled many banks in the country and expressed hope that this situation would be resolved quickly.
The Vice President said that while our economy is poised for unprecedented growth, there are two important dimensions that we should not lose sight of—one is ‘equity’ and the second is ‘ethics’. Highlighting corporate India’s role in national development, Naidu said that real growth would be achieved only through a strong partnership between government and private enterprises.
Naidu said that demonetisation and Goods and Service Tax have spurred opportunities and growth and have ushered in digitalisation, formalisation and integration of the economy despite facing some teething troubles in the beginning.
The Vice President said that economic growth must create avenues for more and more people to realise their potential. Calling for democratisation of such economic opportunity, instructed industrial groups and various companies to adopt an inclusive approach so that the right ecosystem is created in the new India for everybody to realize his or her potential.
The Vice President explained that a level playing field, a facilitative institutional structure and a sound regulatory framework were essential ingredients for success. He added that innovation, efficiency and technological progress were the key tools to build a new India.
The Vice President asked the India Inc. to be at the forefront of the transformation where ethics and economics go hand-in-hand. He also asked corporate India to focus on revitalising agriculture as more than 60 per cent of our population depended upon agriculture for livelihood.
Recalling the widespread appreciation for India’s growth story he experienced during his visit to Africa and Latin America, the Vice President said that world was looking towards India with great confidence for investment, technology and innovations. He further said that India should shun the politics of populism and move towards politics of pragmatism which will benefit society in the long term. ‘Freebies are not a solution’, he warned.
The Vice President also urged private companies and business houses to increase their CSR activities and earmark funds beyond what has been stipulated by the government for social good.
The Vice President gave away the Business Leader of the year Award to the Managing Director, Bajaj Finserv, Sanjiv Bajaj, the Company of the year Award to HDFC Bank, the Emerging Company of the year Award to Page Industries, the Entrepreneur of the year Award to the noted entrepreneur in the Indian renewable energy sector, Sumant Sinha, the Global Indian of the year Award to the Indian American business executive, and the CEO of Adobe Systems, Shantanu Narayen, the Lifetime Achievement Award to the Chairman of the Godrej Group, Adi Godrej, the Business Reformer of the year Award to the Chief Minister of Telangana, K. Chandrashekar Rao, the Policy Change Agent of the year Award to National Payments Corporation of India and the Corporate Citizen of the year Award to Hindustan Unilever.