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Wealth creators want respect, what about others, Mr Piramal

Ajay Piramal has expressed his disapproval of the Centre’s attitude towards the country’s wealth creators

By Upala Sen

  • Published 29.09.19, 6:51 AM
  • Updated 29.09.19, 6:51 AM
Thane: Customers gather inside the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank, at Kolshet in Thane, on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019.
Thane: Customers gather inside the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank, at Kolshet in Thane, on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019. PTI

Industrialist Ajay Piramal has expressed his disapproval of the Centre’s attitude towards the country’s wealth creators — the raids and the searches, the lookout notices and the lack of positive feeling. Never mind that only recently Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda has said that it was “flawed” information sent by Indian officials that had helped the diamond merchant, Mehul Choksi, get a citizenship of the Caribbean nation. Never mind that his nephew Nirav Modi is yet to return home with the missing billions. Never mind Vijay Mallya. Never mind the employees of the capsized Jet. Wealth creators should get the respect they deserve, Piramal has said.

Wither, middle class

Piramal is a heavyweight. One reckons his voice will carry. The last time a business leader frowned, the finance minister announced the corporate tax cut. How come no one makes noise enough about the respect the middle class deserves? Yes, the respect that eludes this fairly large votebank. How come there is no collective outrage, no bushy eyebrows crooked at how economic measures tip-toe past the middle class, and the economic subterfuges wrought against them?

Respect? Never mind that

It was reported last week that the Centre had proposed the contributions by the employer and the employee to the Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) be slashed. It has been stalled for now, but the Union labour and employment ministry’s argument was that the measure would have increased take-home pay. No thought for forced savings or future security and Piramal said "respect". For seven months, the Centre sat on the approved increased interest rate on EPF for financial year 2018-19. Unlikely out of respect. The government has already reduced interest rates on small savings schemes, including NSC and PPF. That thing account holders of Punjab & Maharashtra Co-operative bank are reeling under is anything but respect. And it is not respect for anyone that has driven 10.7 lakh crore rupees out of the Life Insurance of Corporation’s kitty to feed the voracious appetite of PSUs the last five years. Mr Piramal might be disappointed at the lack of respect for wealth creators, but there are greater things amiss with the Indian economy.

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