The name Ambani and Adani is frequently mentioned by the motivated critics and activists in India, in an attempt to paint these two industrialists as exploiters or even as anti-nationals.
It is shocking that in the ongoing debate in India with regard to three Farm Bills enacted by the Modi government, the activists, critics, and some opposition political parties have said that the Farm Bills have been enacted to benefit Ambani and Adani. Of course, the section of media highlights such views, perhaps as a matter of sensation. What has Ambani and Adani to do with the Farm Bills?
When the Government of India introduces privatization measures for public sector undertakings, the policy of the government is simply dismissed as measures to benefit Ambani and Adani, even without discussing the merits or the demerits of the government move.
These critics watch every move of the Ambani and Adani group closely to identify loopholes. If they can not find one, then they ingeniously “discover” loopholes by misinterpreting the moves in a variety of ways.
The anti-Ambani and the anti-Adani campaign is conducted with such persistence day in and day out that common men, who are involved in some other activities not related to business pursuits or industrial and technological activities and those with little education, tend to believe that Ambani and Adani are bad guys. This is an extremely sad scenario in India today.
Fortunately, these critics have left out other business groups such as Tata, Birla, and others for whatever reasons. Possibly, this is due to the fact that the pace of achievements and initiatives in promoting industrial growth in India by the Adani and Ambani group is far greater than that of other groups such as Tata and Birla. This is not to belittle the other groups, who to are serving the cause of India creditably.
For whatever reasons, the fast pace of achievements by the Adani and Ambani group has become an eyesore for the motivated critics, who seem to be under the mistaken impression that accusing the industrialists is the best way of “catching the imagination of the people” and highlighting their activism as pro-poor activities. Painting the industrialists, who set up industries and economic enterprises facing the challenges, increase production and give jobs to thousands of people directly and indirectly, while adhering to government rules and environmental regulations, as anti-poor is a campaign of the worst order.
Ambani group has set up the largest petrochemical complex in India of world size and is now in a position to compete with international giant companies. It has also diversified into other areas such as communication etc. and has brought about a hitherto unknown business speed and standard in such areas.
Adani group has set up several renewable energy plants in India, involved itself in setting up seaports and a variety of other activities. Adani group has set up the largest solar power plant in India in record time and the plant is operating well.
Whether one would admit or not, the progress in Indian industrial and economic growth would be markedly less today, if Ambani group and Adani group have not made such investments and promoted projects. While certainly several other industrial groups in India are also striving hard to set up projects and government projects are also being set up, what is conspicuous and noteworthy about the Ambani and Adani group is their readiness to take calculated risks, move-in uncharted areas, and putting up with the motivated criticisms and abuses and not allowing themselves to be disheartened by such negative aspersions.
The facts and figure show the spectacular performance of these two groups in a comparatively short period of time.
Of course, when such massive projects are being set up, there could be some problems and failures.
For example, in the Krishna Godavari gas exploration project, the Reliance Industries belonging to Mukesh Ambani has not been able to produce the gas as per expectations due to some technical issues. The government of India has thought it fit to impose a penalty on Reliance Industries for not meeting the assured guarantee of gas production, which is now under litigation.
What is particularly gratifying is that in spite of the failure of the earlier project, Reliance Industries has joined with British Petroleum company and has started gas production recently in new wells, where gas discovery has been made.
When the Adani group was entrusted with the task of administering several airports after the elaborate bidding process, the critics say that the Adani group has been favored. The fact is that the Adani group has provided a bid that is better than all the other bids and won the contract. What is wrong with this? While blindly saying that the Adani group has been favored, the critics could not point out any valid reason to justify the criticism as favor shown to the Adani group.
It is extremely distressing that efforts made by the private sector to promote industrialization and economic growth of the country are being decried by activists and some leftist political parties.
The argument against privatization of the public sector which is the “trump card” for the activists and critics is totally flawed. The basic and logical theory is that the government is to govern and not to do business. Even communist country like China has largely accepted this theory now.
Entrusting the responsibility for promoting industrial and economic growth to the private sector to some extent is not only a logical step but also a need of the day to promote rapid economic growth. The private sector promoters do have as much commitment to the growth of the country and they are as much Indians as the activists and critics.
It is true that some private sector companies have indulged in tax evasion and malpractices. Are not the politicians, activists to have been often accused of indulging in corrupt practices and getting illegal funds from abroad?
Corrupt elements have to be punished whether they are private sector promoters or activists and politicians. Let not the activists and critics think and imagine that “they are holier than thou”
Finally, one question to the activists and critics.
Let the critics and activists say how much contribution they have made to the economic and industrial growth of the country and how many jobs they have created and provided.
Loudspeakers are no substitute for performers like Ambani and Adani.N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the "Nandini Voice for the Deprived," a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause. To promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.
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