In a bid to shed the anti-corporate image, Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) Arvind Kejriwal on Monday extended an olive branch to corporates stating he is only against "crony capitalism" and not capitalism. He also announced that "governments have no business to be in business" and AAP favours privatisation but with proper regulation by government.
Kejriwal's move to address the national council of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) comes after AAP's Delhi government took strong action against Anil Ambani-led Reliance on power tariff issue and Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance in the gas issue. His address was probably to soothe nerves of the industry which was clearly feeling uncomfortable with AAP.
AAP sources told dna that "Kejriwal's address at CII is only first in the list of many to come and there will be many more in the days ahead. Not just business meets, Kejriwal will be seen at many more meetings of various groups in the days ahead to spell out AAP's stand on various issues," sources said.
Kejriwal stressed that he is "not against capitalism but only against crony capitalism" as a "small section of businessman are looting the country." He clarified that he is not against privatisation of utilities or services but government cannot give a free hand to private companies and privatisation requires proper regulation by government.
"Governments have no business of being in business. The business should be left to private sector. Government should only do governance," said Kejriwal outlining AAP's economic vision. He emphasised that his party is against licence-raj and inspector-raj and instead in favour of simplifying procedures for business.
He also took a dig against UPA government stating that while best economic policies were being talked about, they never got implemented. He blamed misgovernance stating that "we are first class citizens who are victims of third class governance."
"Indians abroad do well, but if someone wants to do business in India, government makes all effort to make life miserable," he added.
He also said it is private industry that is best suited to address needs such as jobs creation. "Government cannot create jobs … it can only create an eco-system that supports the creation of jobs," he said.
"… there are no jobs in government … We need to also better the education system. The youth of our country should be job creators rather than job seekers," he added.
Several industrialists, who attended the session, said Kejriwal made all the right noises but needs to follow it up with the same in his party's manifesto. CII's founder president and industrialist PK Nanda, while speaking to dna, said Kejriwal's views were certainly welcome if all what he has said would be followed by him and his party in future as well.