Industry will soon start saying 'things moving on ground': Sitharaman

Quick on the heels of criticism by eminent banker Deepak Parekh that impatience has begun creeping in among businessmen as nothing has changed on the ground in the first nine months of the Narendra Modi-led government (See: Modi optimism fading as red tape not being cut: Deepak Parekh), minister of state for commerce and industry Nirmala Sitharaman today said they will soon start saying "a lot of things are happening on the ground."

Speaking at a function in the capital, Sitharaman said the government is willing to hear out the industry and also sought opposition's cooperation in passing key reform bills.

Without making any direct reference to Parekh's comments, Sitharaman said,  "the 10 years of lethargy cannot be removed in 10 months unless all of us are putting our energy together."

She said the government is willing to hear from the industry and work on that.

"I am sure from now, you (industry) will probably even say a lot of things happening on the ground. You are the ones who are going to be able to speak about it first," she added.

The minister said the government is moving ahead "not just verbally but also trying to show it to you (industry)."

Citing the example of Companies Act, Sitharaman said the government heard all the concerns of the industry on the previous act and made as many as 40 changes.

She also said that the new government "is in a hurry to perform not because the government is wanting to secure a point but I think the economy has waited for too long".

"The hurry is because of that. We want to move on different platforms and levels quickly, simultaneously and in a sure footed manner," she said, adding that it would require lot of effort, energy and following up to the logical ends. Sitharaman also hoped for a "lot of cooperation" from the Opposition in the upcoming Parliament session to pass pending bills, including those to replace some Ordinances.

"We hope that at least now in the forthcoming session, with a lot of cooperation from the opposition, because it is the economy which needs it.

"It is not for crediting the NDA government, it is more the economy which has been waiting in the wings to bloom in the last 10 years which didn't happen," she said.