Business leaders, who form an integral component of the National Integration Council (NIC), chose to stay away from the NIC meet here on Monday. Be it Tata Group chairman Cyrus P Mistry, Anand Mahindra of Mahindra & Mahindra, N R Naryanamurthy of Infosys, Chanda Kochar of ICICI, Azim Premji of Wipro or ITC's Y C Deveshwar, these corporate bigwigs nominated by the government to NIC failed to articulate industry's views on national integration.
There are 15 representatives of business/industry on the NIC. Apart from the above names, the list includes Aditya Birla group's Rajashree Birla, FICCI president Naina Lal Kidwai, TCS CEO N Chandrasekaran, Venu Srinivasan of TVS Motors, SBI chairman Pratip Chaudhuri, Assocham president Rana Kapoor, Nasscom's Som Mittal and CII president S Gopalakrishnan and Suman Jyoti Khaitan of PHD Chamber of Commerce.
Interestingly, even the heads of business chambers - FICCI, Assocham and CII -- could not make it to the event, leaving the row reserved for business leaders at Vigyan Bhavan virtually empty.
A senior home ministry official, though, was willing to give the corporate honchos the benefit of doubt, acknowledging that the short notice given to them ahead of the NIC meet, which takes up an entire working day, may have made it impractical for them to make the last-minute change in their packed schedules. "Normally, the appointment diaries of top business leaders and CEOs are tied up to three months in advance... the week's notice for NIC meeting may have left them little choice but to opt out," the official told TOI.