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‘Deficit in governance, business ethics threatening economy'

Unique century: The Union Home Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, receiving a special cover on the centenary celebrations of the SICCI from Ms Shanthi Nair, Chief Postmaster General, Tamil Nadu Circle, Chennai, in the presence of Mr A. Vellayan, President, SICCI, in Chennai on Saturday.

Our Bureau

Chennai, Jan. 1

The shortfall in good governance, regulation and business ethics needs to be addressed to sustain the growth of economy, said the Union Home Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram.

Addressing the centenary celebrations of the Southern India Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI), he said that despite weathering the international economic crisis, the country was beginning the year with despondency.

There is a need to recognise the governance deficit in key areas of infrastructure. An economy growing at 9 per cent cannot afford to have the huge deficit it has in areas such as power, road, shipping and air transport.

Regulatory deficit in some high profit areas that are also important drivers of economy such as real estate, mining, quarrying and transport need to be addressed. People see opportunity for not just growth but also greed and graft, a glaring example is real estate, he said. Typically, such unregulated areas pose the most problem, he said.

A regulated banking system was a key factor that helped the country weather the international financial crisis.

“Ethical deficit has been a constant companion of business,” said Mr Chidambaram. This has happened over the decades and industry associations and chamber of commerce need to deal with this, he said.

Mr A. Vellayan, President, SICCI, said the industry body has committed itself to playing a ‘critical role of enabler' in promoting partnerships with the government, industry and trade. SICCI's activities are focussed on key areas such as agriculture, shipping, taxation, investor awareness, corporate governance and environment, he said.

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