Eight American CEOs Urge Indian PM Modi for Faster Reforms

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended roundtable with financial sector CEOs in New York (September 24, 2015)

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New York – Within a year, second visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi brought forward lackadaisical approach of his government to much-needed reforms advocated by the US industry leaders as the same concerns were raised at a breakfast meeting with top chiefs of American business.

The CEOs of the eight big companies at the meeting lamented the lack of progress in reforming bureaucracy, taxation policies and deregulation delays among others. While all of them used nice words to appreciate Modi’s promises, there was an undercurrent of disappointment over slow pace of reforms.

Addressing journalists at a press conference after the roundtable, Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesman Vikas Swarup admitted that major concerns were raised by the American CEOs about lack of reforms in Indian taxation policies and other allied laws.

“Some of them talked about issues like there is still some bureaucracy left. They had concerns about taxation, taxation policies. There was also a concern about bankruptcy laws in India for instance, and deregulation, and they wanted a faster pace of infrastructure development,” Swarup said.

Swarup accepted that the Prime Minister Modi was fully aware of these issues and he was committed to getting them resolved but the business pundits were skeptical about the progress. One of them, who didn’t want to be identified, told IAT, “Prime Minister Modi came last year and had these meetings. He is back here within a year but nothing much has changed on the ground in Indian business atmosphere.”

The eight CEOs attending the financial sector roundtable were Bill Ford, CEO, General Atlantic; Charles Kaye, Co-CEO, Warburg Pincus; Chase Coleman, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Tiger Global; Henry Kravis, Co-Chairman and Co-CEO, KKR; Jamie Dimon, Chairman, CEO and President, J P Morgan; Peter Ford, President and CEO, AIG Insurance; Steve Schwarzman, Chairman, CE) and Co-Founder, Blackstone and Vicki Fuller, Chief Investment Officer, New York State Common Retirement Fund.

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