Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, Mar 05, 2004
Government - Politics
Industry & Economy - Economy
Parties not to jettison economics for politics
The former Finance Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, with Mr Brij Mohan Lall Munjal, Mr R.V. Kanoria, and Mr Anand Mahindra, President, CII (extreme left), at the CII national council meeting in the Capital on Thursday.
New Delhi , March 4
"GOOD economics is good politics.'' It's not only the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) that believes in this adage, even the two largest political parties the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress have conceded that this may be a worthy plank to fight the forthcoming general elections. The CII has "taken heart'' on this score.
To get a "clean fix" on the economic agenda of the two political parties after the forthcoming elections, the CII today held a closed door meeting with the BJP President, Mr Venkiah Naidu, and senior Congress leader and former Finance Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, as part of its national council meeting.
Addressing a press conference after the meeting, the CII President, Mr Anand Mahindra, said that the members had a "free-flowing" discussion with both the leaders on their economic agenda and priorities. While declining to reveal what went on behind the closed door, Mr Mahindra merely said that both the parties realised that it is good economics that is going to make good politics.
On the issue of monetary contributions by CII members to political parties, Mr Mahindra said that CII had advised its members to make such contributions through cheques. "CII still believes that there should be State funding of elections. In its absence we feel that there should be transparency in the manner in which corporates fund political parties," Mr Mahindra added. The CII President maintained corporate contributions to political parties cannot be considered as "lobbying or corruption."
Meanwhile, in an effort to create greater awareness about the forthcoming general elections among the voters, especially youth, CII plans to launch in association with the Elections Commission (EC) an "outreach" programme.
"There are many ideas which are being examined including putting up kiosks that would encourage voters to register and later advice them to go out and vote," Mr Mahindra said.
Besides, CII will be meeting with the major political parties to put forward its economic agenda for the consideration of these parties.
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