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LS Members Voice Concern On Raids On Industrialists

The NCP member from Baramati said a prominent industrialist stated that governments were not open to criticism as they feared that there would be consequences. BSP member Danish Ali said an atmosphere of fear was prevailing in the country and industry leaders refrain from speaking out freely about their concerns.

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Supriya Sule
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NCP leader Supriya Sule on Wednesday slammed the government over the raids by investigating agencies on industrialists and claimed that several restrain themselves from speaking openly about issues bothering them. "Industry has to be supported, but actually they do live in fear. Everyday you read about somebody getting raided," she said, participating in the debate on the demand for grants from the ministry of commerce and industry. "We are not against raids. If somebody has done something illegal, please raid them," she said. Sule said the government had told Rajya Sabha recently that maximum raids have taken place in the last two years. The NCP member from Baramati said a prominent industrialist stated that governments were not open to criticism as they feared that there would be consequences. BSP member Danish Ali said an atmosphere of fear was prevailing in the country and industry leaders refrain from speaking out freely about their concerns. "Industry leaders are being targeted if they do not fall in line with the government," Ali said, recalling that a businessman from the agro-based industry refused to share concerns with him fearing raids by the government agencies.

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CPI(M) member A M Ariff said instead of helping industrial leaders and traders, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal has the time to criticise them by questioning their integrity and sincerity to the nation. Ariff was referring to Goyal’s speech at a meeting of the Confederation of Indian Industry. "Is this the way to promote trade and industry in the country," he asked. BJD member Pinaki Misra sought to punch holes in the government claims of improving the ease of doing business rankings. "Have you reached out to industrialists to ascertain whether they are finding it easy to do business in India," he asked. Thomas Chazhikadan of Congress voiced concern over the reduction in the budgetary allocations to various commodity boards, contending that it would affect payments to farmers. Congress member Gaurav Gogoi said the government had failed to support the tea industry in the country which has led to India sliding to number four in the tea business globally. Gogoi also said the government had given conflicting signals on free trade agreements by first aggressively promoting them and later developing cold feet.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi had famously declared of concluding FTAs with Israel and Australia within a year after coming to power in 2014, but did not pursue the matter. Gogoi said India had even withdrawn from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a FTA among Asia-Pacific nations, but now had renewed interest in such pacts. Congress member Karti Chidambaram said that the present government does not have the capacity to take the country out of three self-inflicted wounds and one external factor. The three self-inflicted wounds ailing the economy are demonetisation, faulty implementation of GST and unplanned lockdown following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, he said. Besides, he added, the Russia-Ukraine war is threatening the Indian economy. Chidambaram further said that the MSME sector is suffering because of the policies of the government and several owners have committed suicide. P V Midhun Reddy (YSRCP) suggested that the government should set up a Chillies Board to help farmers increase exports. The government, he said, needs to focus on employment generation and the rural economy. Kaushalendra Kumar (JD-U) said the government should consider setting up an industrial corridor in Bihar. He also urged the government to grant special status to Bihar with a view to promoting development in the state. NCP member Sunil Tatkare and DMK member DNV Senthilkumar asked the government to extend the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme to the leather sector which has the potential of generating jobs. Aparajita Sarangi (BJP) said that the budget has made adequate allocation for the export promotion schemes and hoped that the initiatives taken by the Modi government will generate jobs.

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