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Should Indian PM or FM meet industrialists individually?- President Mukherjee

President Pranab Mukherjee has posed the question of whether the Indian Prime Minister or Finance Minister should meet industrialists individually in his just released autobiography.

He has answered the question himself by stating that his meetings with industrialists, individually or collectively, were very important.

The President said, this is what he had followed during his tenure as Finance Minister and Commerce Minister unlike V P Singh who was “adamant” about not having any one-on-one meetings with industrialists.

Mentioning about the period between 1988 rpt 1988 and 1991, which was marked by social and political turmoil in the country, he said, “For instance, as Finance Minister, he was adamant about not having any one-on-one meetings with industrialists. My view–which I followed during my tenures as the Finance and Commerce Ministers–was that meetings with industrialists, individually or collectively, were very important to get an overall understanding of specific contexts”.

“In other words, how can a Finance Minister or Prime Minister not meet industrialists?,” the President asked in the memoir–“The Turbulent Years- 1980-1996”.

Mr. Mukherjee said he had no role in Manmohan Singh’s exit as RBI Governor while asked about the differences existed between the two. He said the differences were nothing more than legitimate exchanges of opinion over professional matters.

“I never saw my differences with Dr Singh, on the rare occasions they occurred, as anything other than legitimate exchanges of opinion over professional matters.

“Let me add that, contrary to conjecture in some quarters, I had absolutely no role in Dr Manmohan Singh’s departure from the RBI,” the President said.

Mukherjee said the relationship between the Finance Minister and the Governor of RBI is complex and it is impossible that they be of one mind on all issues. Singh was RBI Governor between September 16, 1982 and January 14, 1985. Mukherjee was Finance Minister from January 1982 to December 1984. .Pranab

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