India Today conclave 2017: Be Indian and Buy Indian, says HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh

BT Online   New Delhi     Print Edition: March 26, 2017
Be Indian and Buy Indian, says HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh

HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh on Friday said that we have to protect our Indian industries and called for 'Be Indian and Buy Indian'. Parekh was speaking at the India Today Conclave 2017 in Mumbai.

He said there is a need for the government to be 'protectionist' to safeguard the interests of the domestic companies. "We also have to be protectionist...If large countries like the US and Britain are turning protectionists, why not we become protectionist?" Parekh said at the India Today Conclave.

"We are a large country, we have a large market. We also have to protect our industry," he said.

He also batted for the Goods and Service Tax or GST. Speaking on the single biggest tax reform, Parekh said that once the initial confusion around GST is dealt with, economists have projected that the GDP will go up.

Parekh termed demonetisation a big bang reform. He said that cracking down on people holding black money is the right thing to do and such people ought to be penalised.  "If you are paying your taxes, why should you be worried," Parekh said.

However, he also feared of Inspector Raj that could come back post-demonetization. "We hope that the states shape up and improve on ease of doing business," he further said.

Parekh gave the example of the steel industry which was reeling under immense pressure due to cheap Chinese imports, but is now working on higher capacity after the government introduced minimum import price.


"Our steel industry was bleeding because we were getting all steel products from China at ridiculously low prices till the government intervened and put a minimum import prices," he said.

"Now steel companies are working at 80 per cent capacity against 50 per cent before the government's intervention. They are able to service their loans now. I am sure the capacity will go up to 85-90 per cent in next few months," Parekh said.

He, however, said unfortunately the government cannot put anti-dumping duties on every product and so there is a need to be protectionist to promote domestic companies.

Agreeing with the fact that competition will help companies thrive better, Parekh said there is a need to look at the quality of the products which competition brings in.

"The quality of products that China is dumping are far poorer than our locally made products," he said. Parekh said the consumers in the country are smart and do not want to buy Chinese products.

"I know that when the common man buys a car, he would not like to buy Chinese tyre or any other Chinese accessories," he said. "Be Indian and buy Indian," he added.

(With inputs from PTI)

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