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|September 30, 1997||
Japanese businessmen upset over Maruti feud
Sandesh Prabhudesai in Panaji
Japanese businessmen have warned that the feud between the Government of India and Suzuki Motor Corporation over Maruti Udyog Limited will hurt India's image. "It will affect the Indian economy as it has sent wrong signals all over the world," feels Yoshinobu Sei, secretary of the Japan Committee which is at present on a visit to India.
Sei was critical of the events that had taken place. "Why should India behave in a discriminatory manner when the same government gives cent per cent sanctions to Sony?" he asked. The Japanese Committee was in Goa last week for the 29th joint meeting of the India-Japan Study Committee.
India Committee Chairman Dr G Thimmaiah, however, intervened to clarify that the feud over Maruti should not be compared to the Sony deal because the agreement over Maruti was signed during the permit raj while sanctions to Sony were granted after liberalisation.
Japan Committee Chairman Eijiro Noda hoped that the controversy would be resolved amicably so as to not hurt Indo-Japanese economic ties.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, meanwhile, has urged the government to draw lessons from the Maruti dispute and formulate a policy to protect the interests of Indian shareholders in the liberalised economy.
BJP General Secretary Pramod Mahajan has congratulated Union Industry Minister Murasoli Maran for not buckling to the pressure from multinationals like Suzuki and expressed satisfaction over the Delhi high court's verdict not interfering with the appointment of R S S L N Bhaskarudu as the company's managing director.
"It's a classic case of multinationals' behaviour in the Indian economy, which should send cautious signals throughout the country," said Mahajan.
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