Rajiv Kumar, a well-known economist, has been appointed as the FICCI secretary general, a post vacated by Amit Mitra who has joined the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal as finance minister. Kumar, 59, has been the DG of the 84-year old country’s leading chamber since October, 2010 and prior to that he was director and chief executive of an economic think-tank, the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER).
Announcing his appointment here, FICCI president Harsh Mariwala said, “It is difficult to fit in Amit’s (Mitra) shoes but Rajiv, I see, will lead FICCI to greater heights”.
Senior vice-president of the chamber RV Kanoria said that FICCI, leveraging its brand equity among corporates, is in the expansion mode.
It plans to expand its presence in Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Chennai and Hyderabad in the next two years.
After taking over the charge, Kumar shared the FICCI’s viewpoints with reporters on a range of issues, including farmers’ protest against land acquisition, high interest rates and the impending manufacturing policy of the government.
He said FICCI favoured the Haryana model wherein the industry acquires land from farmers at the market price through negotiations.
Under this model, the farmers are also paid annuity and jobs for their family members.
“Land acquisition should be left to the market forces,” Kumar said, adding that even the Chawla Committee of the government has accepted this model.