30 November, 2020

Egg On Our Faces

Bizarre nation this. Cigarettes aren't infrastructure. So, our government allows 100 per cent foreign direct investment to further spread cancer. Airlines are infrastructure. Therefore, it treats Tata Airlines as a pariah. Who can ask for anything mo

Egg On Our Faces

RATAN Tata is not the type to slam his fist on a glass-topped table and scream "Basta! Enough!" I don't know how he reacted on Saturday, August 29 when he heard that the Tata Airline proposal was yet again put on a six-week hold. But his action on the morning of Tuesday, September 1 was a loud and eloquent expression of sheer disgust. And rightly so.

After Singapore prime minister Goh Chok Tong's visit in January 1994, Narasimha Rao encouraged Tata Industries to come up with an airlines proposal. Work began from March 1994. Quietly supported by Amar Nath Verma, the then principal secretary-cum-chairman of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), Tata prepared a feasibility study by December 1995, and submitted it to FIPB in February 1996. Since then, sundry politicians and bureaucrats of three governments have led Tata up the garden path—dangling a carrot here, wielding a stick there, randomly changing policies to debar entry, procrastinating, orchestrating opposition, and indulging in every dirty trick one can think of....



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