Dhoot lashes out at S&P; seeks PM intervention in big projects
New Delhi: Assocham President Rajkumar Dhoot Tuesday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking his intervention in fast-tracking infrastructure projects, without getting disturbed by global agencies like S&P which consider India and other emerging economies as their "whipping boys".
After his meeting with the Prime Minister, Dhoot told reporters, "Let us not get rattled by these rating outlook and the threats. The Indian economy has an inherent strength and we never had any record of default in any of our international obligations".
Dhoot said while it is true "we need to put our house in order and cannot remain in self-denial mode," the Standard and Poor's own track record is also not flawless.
"It gave excellent ratings to Lehman Brothers last year and what happened in three months time Lehman Brothers disappeared. On August 11, 2011, S&P downgraded American economy. What happened? In a quarter, American GDP growth reached 3 percent from 1.8 percent," he said.
He described S&P's comments on division of roles between the Prime Minister and Congress President Sonia Gandhi, as quite a drawing room talk, that too in a loose fit.
He said let India and other emerging countries not become "whipping boys" for these global agencies. They do more harm than good to us in terms of building a worldwide negative perception, he added.
During the meeting, Dhoot urged the Prime Minister that without losing time, government should clear the big infrastructure projects in the next three months.
He said controversies like alleged irregularities in coal blocks auction, hit the production of coal, steel and cement.
On the dismal performance of the industrial output in April, the Assocham chief said, "... Investment is lagging and needs to be pushed up".
Early this month, the Prime Minister had given specific targets to the ministries of coal, roads, power and shipping for effecting investment of about Rs two lakh crore in the current fiscal.