Organised crime is hurting economy: Chidambaram

Thursday, 24 May 2007, 07:00 Hrs
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New Delhi:Organised crime such as money laundering, terrorism and drug-peddling is hurting the economy more than petty thefts, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said Thursday, and warned of dire results if it were left unchecked.

He also asked India Inc to be more socially responsible and look at issues like providing jobs to the underprivileged and the physically challenged and environment-friendly policies more closely.

"Organised crime and not petty crimes is hurting the country," Chidambaram told the annual general meeting of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) at the Taj Palace Hotel in the capital Thursday.

"Organised crime such as money-laundering, terrorism, drug-peddling is hurting more. Any slip-up would result in disaster," the finance minister warned.

He said the fact that the country was witnessing high growth of eight-nine percent showed that it was bringing social benefits for a larger section of the society and not to a handful of them.

"High growth means more inclusiveness. If high growth is not inclusive, then low growth is even more not-inclusive," he said, adding that it was imperative for manufacturing and services sectors to expand output at a faster pace to sustain the current economic growth.

Stressing greater focus on the growth of the farm economy, he said: "Agriculture growth has been 2.3 percent in the 10th plan (2002-2007). But it must grow at four percent and must be properly entrenched with the economic growth."

He urged Indian industry leaders to induct changes in their daily operations to bring about a radical social change that would eventually lead to inclusiveness.

Chidambaram also asked India Inc to maintain certain levels of respect with employees to make their workforce more aware about the adverse consequences of HIV/AIDS and become friendlier towards ecology and environment.

The minister stressed on the corporate sector providing more support in facilitating job opportunities for the 100,000-odd physically challenged people, as envisaged in the budget for 2007-08.

He said Indian industry leaders should come forward and support the development of industrial training institutes (ITIs) under a public-private partnership scheme for which the government had made fiscal provisions.
Source: IANS
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