The Straits Times
Published on Dec 07, 2012

Tata chief lashes out at 'venal' Indian business climate


MUMBAI (AFP) - The outgoing head of the Tata business empire warned on Friday that a lack of government support was preventing Indian industry from competing with China and lashed out at a "venal" business environment.

In interviews published ahead of his retirement as chairman this month, Mr Ratan Tata criticised what he called a lack of coherence in government policy and said the Mumbai-based group's ethical standards had cost it business.

Tata, a sprawling conglomerate whose portfolio ranges from salt to software, has earned itself a global reputation for its eye-catching purchases of Western companies such as Jaguar Land Rover and Corus Steel.

Mr Tata told the Financial Times that his group planned to look to other emerging markets for expansion and accused Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of forcing it to look abroad by failing to address complaints about bureaucracy.