Industrialist warns of lost investment


Ratan Tata, the outgoing head of the Tata group, India’s most global business, has warned that government inaction is driving investment away from the country and forcing groups such as his own to seek growth abroad.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Tata, one of the world’s most influential industrialists who retires this month after more than two decades in charge, said yesterday that the group planned to look to other emerging economies as it seeks to increase sales to $500 billion in the next decade.

Under Mr Tata’s leadership the salt-to-steel Tata conglomerate has come to symbolise India’s rapidly globalising economy.

Mr Tata was especially critical of the government of Manmohan Singh, India’s prime minister, who recently responded to complaints from leading industrialists by launching reforms to liberalise sectors such as airlines and retail.

“You may have the prime minister’s office saying one thing and maybe one of the ministers having a different view. That doesn’t happen in most countries,” he said.

“You wouldn’t have a seven- or eight-year wait to get clearance for a steel plant,” said Mr Tata. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2012