Govt will support Indians buying co abroad: FM
New Delhi, July 28: Finance Minister P Chidambaram has asked India Inc to work for a growth rate of more than nine per cent per annum and suggested that they grow inorganically by continuing with their spree of overseas acquisitions.
"The government will do everthing possible for Indian companies to maintain their global thrust and acquire companies abroad," Mr Chidambaram said after distributing awards to Indian companies for their distinguished performance.
The glittering event relating to giving away of 'Business leadership awards,' 2007 was organised here last night by NDTV Profit.
The Finance Minister said the government will do everthing possible, such as making available foreign exchange, to enable India Inc to maintain its overseas thrust of buyouts.
"I salute the men and women who fuel India's journey to the forefront of the world economy", Mr Chidambaram said.
He said Indian companies were a major contributor to the nine per cent growth story.
The Finance Minister said it was a mistaken belief among some corporates that the only way to grow was organically. A more realistic way to grow is through the inorganic mode.
"Go out and buy companies. Go in for overases buyouts. Maintain the trend of outward flow of FDI," Mr Chidambaram said.
Interestingly, the outward flow of Foreign Direct Investment also matched the inward flow of FDI last fiscal.
"Some decades ago when Jamshedji Tata tried to raise capital abroad to set up Tata Steel, he was refused money as he was an Indian businessman. Last year Tata's bought over Corus. This is the change which has taken in these many years", he said.
Referring to different projections by different agencies relating to the growth rate, Mr Chidambaram said it was feasible to achieve a nine per cent growth per annum.
"But why should we aim at a nine per cent growth. Why shoud we all not work for a higher growth rate", he said.
Mr Chidambaram said institutions like TV channels and the actions of Indian companies have enlarged the constituencies of Indian politicians. Their constituency is no longer the constituency from which they contest elections, but a much larger canvas, where they are made accountable for many things.
The Finance Minister not only made a speech at the event, but asked businessmen some tickish questions from the podium while distributing awards. For instance, he asked CII President Sunil Bharati Mittal whether he had lurking political ambitions.
Similary, he asked Mr Kumaramangalam Birla what he felt like when suddenly he found himself exposed to the cold chills of global competition when the foodgates of liberalisation and globalisation were suddenly opened to Indian businessmen.
Mr Chidambaram was often joined in by Dr Prannoy Roy, head of NDTV and NDTV Profit, in shooting questions to Indian businessmen who got the awards. For instance, Dr Roy asked Mr Mittal what was the percentage of the contribution of the telecom sector to India's nearly nine per cent growth per annum.