Unsavoury questions on corruption await Indian CEOs in Davos

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New Delhi, Jan 18 (PTI) About 125 Indian CEOs and fivesenior ministers travelling next week to Davos for the WorldEconomic Forum annual meet will have to answer some unsavouryquestions about corruption and "governance deficit" in India.

"I don''t think we can hide anywhere...There will be a lotof questions on governance, which will be asked (at Davos),"CII President Hari Bhartia said here.

CII, which is a partner of the Geneva-based WorldEconomic Forum (WEF), has announced formation of a NationalCouncil on Moral Issues headed by noted industrialist AdiGodrej.

The council will deliberate on how companies shouldfollow their own ethical behaviour and will suggest to thegovernment ways to reduce personal interface for seekingproject approvals from different authorities.

A group of prominent personalities, includingindustrialists Azim Premji and Deepak Parekh, yesterdayexpressed concern over a series of scams leading to"governance deficit".

They asked the government to deal with burning issueslike corruption urgently.

In an ''open letter'' addressed to the leaders, they said:"We are alarmed at the widespread governance deficit almost inevery sphere of national activity covering government,business and institutions. Widespread discretionary decision-making have been routinely subjected to extraneousinfluences".

In the five-day mega event beginning January 26, FinanceMinister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P Chidambaram,Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, TransportMinister Kamal Nath and Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patelalong with Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek SinghAhluwalia will participate.

India Inc, on its part, is going with the largest everdelegation of 125 CEOs, including the likes of RelianceIndustries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, Bharti Enterprises ChiefSunil Bharti Mittal, SBI Chairman O P Bhatt and ICICI BankManaging Director and CEO Chanda Kochhar.

Bhartia said questions regarding quality of governance inIndia are sure to come up at Davos.

"But we will handle it honestly," he said.

He said that the CII council on moral issue will alsosuggest to the government that all natural resource-basedprojects should be given environment clearances beforebidding.

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