Sunday, July 1, 2012

Reality Check: President Pratiba Patil Foreign Visits Deflates Economy

Industry chambers — Assocham, CII and Ficci sing praises
‘Pratibha’s foreign trips boosted trade ties’
PTI The Hindu New Delhi, June 18, 2012

Facing criticism over her numerous foreign visits costing the exchequer Rs. 205 crore, President Pratibha Patil got some reprieve from industry chambers, which claimed that her trips had helped opened new vistas for bolstering trade ties.
Ms. Patil’s foreign trips had raised eyebrows when a query made under RTI revealed that Rs. 205 crore had been spent on her travel expenses since she assumed office in July 2007, surpassing the record of all her predecessors.
During her tenure, President Patil has undertaken 12 foreign trips, covering 22 countries across four continents and spending 79 days abroad.
Industry chambers — Assocham, CII and Ficci on Monday presented a booklet titled ‘Engaging the World’ to Ms. Patil on Monday. The booklet said that during her visits, issues of concern to Indian industry were raised, MoUs were signed and trade and investment prospects of Indian industry were addressed.
“The impact of these state visits has been multi-pronged. New vistas have been opened for Indian businesses...,” Ficci secretary-general Rajiv Kumar said in a message in the booklet.
Mr. Kumar said that as an active participant in the President’s visits, Ficci was able to expand its reach to new regions, cultivate institutional cooperation and develop business synergies.
CII director-general Chandrajit Banerjee said the President’s visits provided good exposure and much-needed access and networking opportunities for the business delegates.
Echoing similar views, Assocham secretary-general D.S. Rawat said the visits to various countries have given a major fillip to the business houses in terms of enhancing their stature and credibility, which in turn has provided them the right platform for meeting their economic engagements in the countries visit.
Pratibha’s foreign trips boosted trade ties’

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