New Delhi, Aug 31 : Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has condoled the passing away of the noted industrialist Dr. Krishna Kumar Birla.
In his condolence message, the Prime Minister has said, "Birla's contribution to the development of our country is immense. He was a multifaceted personality. He ranks among the greatest industrial leaders that India has produced. His efforts for the promotion of technical education and Hindi literature in the country received wide acclaim."
He said that Birla provided exemplary leadership in making "The Hindustan Times", a leading daily newspaper in the country. Everything he did was touched with compassion and understanding.
"Birla's passing away is a great loss to our country. He leaves behind a void that will be difficult to fill. I extend my heartfelt condolences to the members of the bereaved family and to the wide circle of his friends, admirers and associates. I pray for the peace of the departed soul," the Prime Minister added.
Birla died at his residence in Kolkata after a brief illness on Saturday morning. He was 90.
He served as a Member of the Rajya Sabha, and is survived by three daughters Nandini Nupani, Shobhana Bhartia, who is the vice chairperson and editorial adviser of Hindustan Times and Saroj Potddar.
His wife Manorama Devi Birla died about a month ago.
The eldest son of Ghanshyam Das Birla was born in Pilani, Rajasthan, on October 12, 1918.
He was the group chairman of the Zuari-Chambal Group, which had a turnover of Rs.10,000 crores. He was also the Chairman of ZUARI-CHAMBAL-PARADEEP, India''s largest fertilizer combine in private sector.
Birla was a Rajya Sabha MP for 18 consecutive years. In 1961, he was elected Sheriff of Calcutta. In 1997, he was conferred Doctor of Letters by Pondicherry University.
In 1991, he established the K.K. Birla Foundation to promote Hindi literature and was the Chancellor of the Birla Institute of Technology and Science at Pilani.
He has headed a number of Chambers of Commerce such as Indian Sugar Mills Association, Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC).