Indian government failing on all fronts, says Ratan Tata

Industry doyen Ratan Tata today contributed his influential voice to the outcry against the Indian government's failed policies and practices, saying the country has lost the confidence of the world and the government has been slow to recognise it.

In an interview with a TV news channel, the chairman emeritus of Tata Group said the government was easily ''swayed'' by the influence of vested interests in the private sector; and policies have been ''changed, delayed and manipulated''.

Never one to mince words, Tata said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been held in high esteem, ''but in recent times we have lost that esteem''.

''We have lost the confidence of the world,'' said Tata, whose conglomerate continues after his retirement last December to be India's most respected if not richest group. ''The government has been slow to recognise this.''

He further said it would be good for the country if policies were implemented as they were written.

''The government has issued policies which vested interests, quite often in the private sector, have changed, delayed or manipulated. So for one reason or another, the government has swayed with those forces,'' Tata said.

Recollecting the 1991 economic liberalisation, when ''the brave moves were made'', he said, ''It's the same team. What has happened in my view is that there have been forces ... too many competing interests. By and large whatever is happening should be looked at to the benefit of the people of India, not to a few vested interests.''

While saying his regard for the prime minister remains ''very high'', he said there is no leadership from the front.

''We don't have leadership that we have been talking about, that is leading from the front,'' Tata said.

''We should have one view ... the (central) team has been pulling in different directions, allies are pulling in different directions...states are pulling in one direction. We are not consolidating ourselves in the government,'' Tata said.

Tata praised the leadership of the controversial Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, now clearly the leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party. ''I think in Gujarat he has proven his leadership and he has moved Gujarat into a position of prominence. I am not in a position to gaze what he would do in a country,'' he said.