On 12th August, Thursday, the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal made a statement. He said with utmost confidence that the business practices, especially that of Tata were against the interests of the country. He criticized the Tata Group publicly at the Confederation of Indian Industry’s annual meeting.
The statement of the commerce and industry minister created a controversy. Because of this, the trade association took down a 19-minute video of the minister’s speech from its YouTube channel.
Apparently, the Centre had made some rules which would benefit the consumers. According to Goyal, the Tata group opposed the rules and the minister was very disappointed in them. He said, “Me, myself, my company, we all need to go beyond this approach.”
Apparently, Tata had objected to some of the e-commerce rules made in June. The media guessed that the minister was referring to that very flaw of the group. One of the rules proposed that e-commerce have to ensure that the enterprises that were related to them were not identified as sellers in their respective websites. Tata Group stood against this proposition. It said that if this particular law was put into action, American coffee chain Starbucks, the joint venture with Tata in India would not be able to offer its products on Tata’s website.
When Goyal heard about this statement that Tata made, he lashed out. He said that a company like Tata might have bought a few foreign companies but their importance could not be greater than the national interest. Everyone in the meet heard this which included Banmali Agrawal, Tata Son’s president for infrastructure, aerospace, and defense.
The Union Minister said that Tata could never do business in nationalistic countries like Korea and Japan. He said that when the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) talked about nationalistic spirit, the media called them orthodox and backward. But this does not happen in Korea and Japan. Referring to foreign direct investment, Goyal said, “At least you should resist the greed of these foreigners. You are welcome to do good, honest business. But in wrongdoings…when I read names that have entered partnerships with anyone and everyone.”
Congress leader Jaiveer Shergill tweeted that by saying this, Piyush Goyal had mocked the slogan of the Prime Minister which said ‘Ease of doing business in India’. He further added that BJP ministers were not able to differentiate between ‘andh bhakti and ‘Desh bhakti. They were just pretending to be franchise holders of Nationalism.
However, the former bureaucrat Anil Swarup backed Goyal. He shared his views about the news being incorrect. He said that a seasoned minister like Piyush Goyal would not make such a harsh statement. He hoped that the media would realize their flaw and present the correct version of the speech soon.