DAVOS: Rising prices are a cause for concern not only in India, but globally, with CEOs and economists gathered here for the annual World Economic Forum meet warning that spiralling inflation and unemployment could hurt global economic growth.
“The recent rise in inflation (in several countries) reduces the disposable income and creates social and political problems,” said Mr Nouriel Roubini, a professor of Economics and International Business at New York University.
Participating in the opening session, Wipro chairman Mr Azim Premji shared Prof Roubini’s concern and said, “Inflation is really our key priority and (I) hope that we don’t get a knee-jerk reaction.”
With food inflation at 15.52 per cent during the week ended January 8 and the overall price rise pegged at 8.43 per cent in December 2010, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been tightening key short-term interest rates, sending shivers through the industry.
Inflation, in a way, is not restricted to India, as several other countries, including China are grappling with the problem. The issue captured the attention of the global policymakers and CEOs who have gathered here at the Swiss skiing resort in the Alps.
India, the second-fastest expanding economy in the world after China, is fielding its biggest-ever delegation at the event, including 125 CEOs and senior ministers like Home Minister, Mr P Chidambaram, Commerce and Industry Minister, Mr Anand Sharma, Urban Development Minister, Mr Kamal Nath and Heavy Industries Minister, Mr Praful Patel.
In addition, India Inc stalwarts like Mr Azim Premji of Wipro, Mr Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries, Mr Sunil Bharti Mittal of Bharti Enterprises and Ms Kiran Mazumdar Shaw of Biocon are involved in the discussions on the ‘new economic reality,’ the future of employment and making growth over-arching.
The Geneva-based WEF is playing host to 1,400 delegates from the top 1,000 companies around the world, 30 heads of state or governments, renowned academicians, artists and faith leaders, including the head of the Chinmaya Mission in New Delhi, Swami Nikhilananda Saraswati.