New FICCI chief to focus on agriculture, manufacturing
Monday, 18 November 2002, 08:00 Hrs
CHENNAI: Revitalising Indian agriculture and manufacturing will be a priority for the incoming president of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). A.C. Muthaiah outlined his vision for FICCI for the next year at a news conference here Friday evening, saying his other priorities will be the development of transport infrastructure, the tax system and FICCI's "Look East" policy. "Subsidies have to go sooner or later from the agricultural sector," said Muthaiah, who is the chairperson of Southern Petrochemical Industries Corporation (SPIC) Limited. Many fertiliser companies in India have grown with the help of government subsidies and may go into a slump once such support is withdrawn, he said. Several of Muthaiah's own companies produce diammonia phosphates, urea, potash, gypsum and other fertiliser by-products. SPIC Fertilisers and Chemicals is a $180 million company in Dubai's Jebel Ali Free Zone. Another SPIC firm, Mercantile Credit Corporation, has been told to repay its 2.30 billion loan from financial institutions. Muthaiah said the loans will be repaid in three years.