India Inc today paid a glowing tribute to Atal Bihari Vajpayee, describing the former prime minister as a "great economic reformer" under whose visionary leadership the country made rapid strides in economic growth. Vajpayee's death was announced by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) hospital where he was admitted on June 11 with a variety of ailments. "All of us who knew Vajpayee are saddened to hear of his passing away. He was a great leader with a great sense of compassion and humour. He will be remembered fondly by a vast number of us," said Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Trusts. A guiding light for the nation through all his years in public life, Vajpayee remained a strong proponent of industrial and economic development through market reforms, noted industry the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
"The second generation of economic reforms introduced under his visionary leadership contributed greatly to a facilitative investment climate which in turn promoted India's rapid growth," CII President Rakesh Bharti Mittal said. "The nation has lost a statesman of independent India. An iconic leader on the world stage, Vajpayee led India with great wisdom, foresight and love for the country," said N Chandrasekaran, Chairman Tata Sons.
"A great economic reformer, as a Prime Minister he was always guided by a strong conviction that liberalisation would help us realize our economic potential and ultimately open the doors to becoming a globally competitive, strong and resilient economy," Bharti Enterprises Founder and Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said.
Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra also recalled his meetings with the late former prime minister. "RIP Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The leadership lesson that I learned from my interactions with him was that no matter how significant your achievements while in office, you ultimately earn the affection of people through your humanity and your humility...," he said in a tweet.
Ficci President Rashesh Shah said the former prime minister was one of the most dynamic leaders who ushered in an era of reforms, progress and took the country forward. "Our nation has lost one of our great political leaders who steered our country as Prime Minister to great heights. A man of great vision and charisma," Biocon Chairperson and MD Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw tweeted. Assocham President Sandeep Jajodia said Vajpayee's towering personality, vision for nation building and deep respect for democratic institutions would remain an inspiration for the present and coming generations.
"He (Vajpayee) put the nation on fast track with initiatives like Golden Quadrilateral project, the New Telecom Policy, the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan and the Fiscal Responsibility Act that laid down the path for future governments to follow," Dr Prathap Reddy, Founder & Chairman, Apollo Hospitals said.
PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Anil Khaitan expressed deep anguish over the passing away of Vajpayee, saying that a vacuum has been created with his death which would be extremely difficult to fill.
Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani said Vajpayee will inspire the generations to come.
Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) Chairman Naveen Jindal said He was a great leader and excellent statesman who was loved and admired all.
Vedanta Resources Plc Group Chairman Anil Agarwal said in a statement that today, India has lost a true son of the soil, who rose from a very humble background to lead the country at a crucial juncture.
An excellent orator, a mass leader, a fire power and a sensitive human being, Vajpayee was one of India's tallest leaders and was the first to address United Nations in Hindi, he said.
First Published: IST