Prime Minister Manmohan Singh may be scheduled to address the ongoing 46th Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank on Saturday,but the four-day conference which boasts of about 5,000 registered participants seems to have been given a miss by most Indian ministers and many industry heads.
The ADB Annual General Meetings typically are attended by ministers and officers of member countries,captains of industry,thought leaders and journalists.
Finance minister P Chidambaram,who was scheduled to speak at a session on Innovation for Inclusion on Thursday too was unable to make it as he was tied up in Parliament. In his place,department of economic affairs secretary Arvind Mayaram read out his speech.
Attributing his absence to commitments in Parliament,the ADB however said Chidambaram would speak on Friday when he is scheduled to inaugurate the India Day.
Significantly,apart from the finance minister,just a handful of finance ministry officials such as chief economic adviser Raghuram Rajan are expected to address sessions at the event though India is the host country. Chief ministers and officials from state governments,many of which are amongst the ADBs largest loan recipients are also not present.
India is playing host to the ADB Annual Meeting for the third time. It had earlier hosted the event in 1990 in New Delhi and once again in 2006 in Hyderabad. In its 39th meeting at Hyderabad for instance,planning commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh,Delhi,Goa and Rajasthan and the finance minister of West Bengal were key participants from India along with Chidambaram.
But this year,India Inc too seems to be notably absent. The event is being addressed by just a few CEOs from Corporate India.
While Chanda Kochhar,chairman and managing director,ICICI Bank and Naina Lal Kidwai,HSBC India country head and director HSBC Asia Pacific spoke at different sessions at ADB on Thursday,others who are scheduled to speak include Rana Kapoor,CEO,Yes Bank and YM Deosthalee,CMD L&T Financial Holdings,Vinayak Chatterjee,CMD Feedback Ventures are some of the other industry members who will address the event.