Kamal Nath

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Kamal Nath
कमल नाथ
Kamal Nath - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2008.jpg
Nath at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, 2008
MP
Incumbent
Assumed office
4 June 2014
Constituency Chhindwara
Constituency Chhindwara
Incumbent
Assumed office
1980
Preceded by Gargishankar Ramkrishna Mishra
Constituency Chhindwara
Union Minister for Commerce and Industry
In office
May 2004 – April 2009
Constituency Chhindwara
Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for the Textiles
In office
1995–1996
Constituency Chhindwara
Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for the Environment and Forests
In office
1991–1995
Constituency Chhindwara
Personal details
Born (1946-11-18) 18 November 1946 (age 68)
Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh
Political party INC
Spouse(s) Alka Nath
Children 2 sons
Residence Chhindwara
Religion Hinduism
Signature
As of 22 September, 2006
Source: [2]

Kamal Nath (Hindi: कमल नाथ; born 18 November 1946) is an Indian politician and the Ex Minister of Urban Development. He is a member and the Protem Speaker of the current 16th Lok Sabha of India. He represents the Chhindwara constituency of Madhya Pradesh and is a member of the Indian National Congress (INC).[1]

Early life[edit]

Born in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. He is an alumnus of The Doon School,[2] and a graduate of St. Xavier's College of the University of Calcutta.[1]

Career[edit]

Political career[edit]

Kamal Nath was first elected to the 7th Lok Sabha in 1980.[3] He was re-elected to the 8th Lok Sabha in 1985, the 9th Lok Sabha in 1989, and the 10th Lok Sabha in 1991.

He was inducted into the Union Council of Ministers as Minister of Environment & Forests in June 1991.[4] From 1995 to 1996 he served as Union Minister of State, Textiles (Independent Charge).[5]

He was then elected to the 12th Lok Sabha in 1998 and the 13th Lok Sabha in 1999. From 2001 to 2004, he was the General Secretary of the INC.[6] He was re-elected to the 14th Lok Sabha in the 2004 elections and served as Union Cabinet Minister of Commerce & Industry from 2004 to 2009.

On 16 May 2009 he again won the elections from his constituency for the 15th Lok Sabha and re-entered the Cabinet, this time as Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways.[1] In 2011, as a result of a cabinet reshuffle Kamal Nath replaced Jaipal Reddy to take on his role as Minister of Urban Development. Jaipal replaced Murli Deora as minister of petroleum natural gas.[7]

In October 2012, Nath was confirmed to the ministry of parliamentary affairs in addition to his current role as urban development minister.[8]

In late 2012, Nath replaced Pranab Mukherjee to help the UPA government win a crucial debate on FDI retail.[9] Nath also replaced rural development minister Jairam Ramesh as an ex-officio member of the Planning Commission in December 2012.[10]

Political associations[edit]

Kamal Nath is a member of the INC (Indian National Congress) political party and served as general secretary from 2001–2004.[11]

Nath has close ties with the Nehru–Gandhi family, being young friends and schoolmates with Sanjay at the Doon School, an independent boarding school located in Dehradun.[12]

Business career[edit]

Kamal Nath serves as president of the board of governors for The Institute of Management Technology (IMT) a premier management institution.[13]

He is Chairman of "Madhya Pradesh Child Development Council" and Patron to the Bharat Yuvak Samaj (Youth Wing of All India Bharat Seva Samaj).[14]

Only Member of Parliament incident[edit]

From 4 June to 5 June 2014 Kamal Nath became the single only member to have taken official oath as a member of parliament of the 16th Lok Sabha.He was made the ProTem Speaker of the newly elected Lok Sabha. The first day of the lok Sabha on which the Pro Tem Speaker administers the oath of all other elected member as the member of parliament was called off due to the Death of Union Cabinet Rural Development Minister Gopinath Munde. The House was adjourned after paying a tribute to Gopinath Munde and observing a two minute silence. Since no other elected member had taken oath that day, they were not officially member of parliament.

Political views[edit]

Economic development[edit]

Kamal Nath is a strong proponent of economic development in India. At the World Economic Forum (WEF) Davos, Switzerland in 2011 Nath shared his views on improving market access for developing countries in the area of agriculture stating India's applied tariffs for exports in developed countries was very low. Nath claims that this is due to continued imports through schemes like EPCG (Export Promotion Capital Goods Scheme) where tariffs are not levied.[15]

Competing in the world market[edit]

Nath disagrees with the Trade protectionist outlook displayed among struggling countries and considers it to be the wrong response to a financial crisis.[16] He has pushed for stronger international cooperation in India, such as expanding on Indo-German relations. Nath stated for a mutually beneficial relationship with Germany to exist it must rely on using both countries' manufacturing strengths. He outlined focus areas of production including telecom, engineering, environmental technology, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and food processing, and renewable energy.[17] Kamal Nath describes India's entrepreneurial spirit and the countries' potential for global commerce growth in his book India's Century.[18]

Kamal Nath on infrastructure development[edit]

Nath emphasises the need for infrastructure development in India with projects like the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, a 90 billion dollars industrial development project. The DMIC proposes major expansion of infrastructure and industry and aims to develop an industrial zone across six states in India.[19] Within the first five years of the project expectations are set at doubling employment potential, tripling industrial output, and quadrupling exports from the region.[20]

Public–private partnership (PPP)[edit]

Kamal Nath advocates a PPP model on completing such ambitious projects like the DMIC and other infrastructure development projects. He references success with PPP models implemented in India's Metro operations.[21]

Controversies[edit]

Rice export accusations[edit]

In 2007, during Kamal Nath's tenure as Commerce minister, an Empowered Group of Ministers that included Nath, Pranab Mukherjee, and Sharad Pawar helped lift a ban on the export of non-basmati rice. It was alleged that PSUs involved in export of this rice to Africa outsourced the efforts to domestic private companies. It is claimed that the private companies made large profits while the PSUs reported small margins.[22]

Radia tapes[edit]

Kamal Nath is mentioned in the Radia Tapes by Tarun Das, former head of the Confederation of Indian Industry. Das mentioned his support for Nath in the surface transport ministry before making statements that put Nath in a negative light. Das claimed that Nath could make money while conducting national service and could use the ministry as an ATM.[23] In 2010, Das publicly apologized to Nath for these statements, describing his remarks as, "Irresponsible and unfortunate," and "Loose talk."[24]

Alleged involvement in the Sikh Genocide (1984)[edit]

Kamal Nath was indicted by the Nanavati Commission on allegations that he was involved in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Only one witness, Mukhtiar Singh, testified to seeing Nath lead an armed mob that attacked and demolished a Gurudwara in Rakab Ganj.[25] However, there was no evidence that he incited the crowd. In fact, one of the key witnesses, Indian Express Photographer Monish Sanjay Suri, stated that Kamal Nath tried to disperse the crowd, and there was no evidence that he encouraged violence during the riot.[26] Several Sikhs were burned alive during the attack.[27] Nath responded to the Commission, saying that he visited the Gurudwara later in the day to investigate the agitation and urge peace.

The Commission Report observed that Nath's testimony was "vague" and "not consistent with the evidence" and that his version of events was "A little of strange." However it disregarded the contradictions in his testimony, saying "It is also required to be considered that he was called upon to give an explanation after about 20 years and probably for that reason he was not able to give more details." In conclusion the Commission said, "In absence of better evidence it is not possible for the Commission to say that he had in any manner instigated the mob or that he was involved in the attack on the Gurudwara".[28] Justice Nanavati further stated that "it would not be proper to come to the conclusion that Kamal Nath had in any manner instigated the mob.[26]"

Canadian Sikhs protested his visit to Toronto 23 March 2010.[29]

On 6 April 2010 Sikhs for Justice[30] a US-based human rights advocacy group along with two individuals Jasbir Singh and Mohinder Singh filed a lawsuit against Kamal Nath in the Southern District of New York for leading the mob that killed Sikhs and attacked Gurdawara Rakab Ganj in Delhi on 1 November 1984. The lawsuit was filed under Alien Torts Claim Act and Torture Victims Protection Act. US District Court issued summons to Kamal Nath asking him to respond to the complaint. Kamal Nath received summons and complaint the same day in the evening while he was in Manhattan, New York.[31]

The court complaint was dismissed in March 2012 by Judge Robert Sweet of the US District Court Southern District of New York, against Nath, who stated that the court lacked jurisdiction in the case.[32] The 22-page order granted Nath's motion to dismiss the claim, and the judge also noted that 'Sikhs for Justice' failed to "serve the summons and its complaints to Nath in an appropriate and desired manner."[33]

Responsible for environmental damage[edit]

Kamal Nath was again embroiled in controversy in March 2002 when the Supreme Court, applying the polluter pays principle, imposed a fine of Rs10,00,000 (US$25,000) on Kamal Nath for damaging the environment by building a motel on the bank of Beas river near Kulu-Manali in the state of Himachal Pradesh. This irresponsible act changed the course of the river and thus caused ecological imbalance in that area. The Supreme Court Bench held that Kamal Nath was liable to pay a fine of Rs1 million for causing damage to the sensitive ecology of the area by building Span Motel.[34]

Irresponsible statements[edit]

A New York Times article dated 15 April 2007, quoted Kamal Nath, then India's Commerce Minister as stating that the H-1B visa "has become the outsourcing visa."[35] On 6 October 2013 Kamlal Nath openly threatened Madhya Pradesh Government officers in an election rally to face consequences if found working as BJP, the incumbent government's supporters.

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 2006 Kamal Nath received an Honorary Doctorate from Jabalpur's Rani Durgavati University for his contributions to the public sector.[36]

Kamal Nath was named the FDI Personality of the Year 2007 by the FDI magazine and the Financial Times Business for his "Active efforts to attract foreign businesses to India, boost exports, and promote trade and investment".[37]

In 2008 he was honoured with the title "Business Reformer of the year" by The Economic Times.[38]

In September 2011, he was declared to be the richest Cabinet minister in India with assets worth INR 2.73 billion (INR 2,730,000,000 or US$59 million).

In November 2012, he received the "ABLF Statesman Award" at the Asian Business Leadership Forum Awards 2012.[39][40]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Profile at Parliament of India website.
  2. ^ "Profile of Shri Kamal Nath, Minister of Commerce & Industry, Government of India". Department of Commerce, Government of India. Retrieved 2008-10-30. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Biographical Sketch Member of Parliament XII Lok Sabha", accessed 12 August 2011.
  4. ^ "MR. KAMAL NATH Commerce & Industry Minister Government of India", accessed 12 August 2011.
  5. ^ " Fifteenth Lok Sabha Member","WhereInCity India Information", accessed 12 August 2011.
  6. ^ " Kamal Nath Minister of Urban Development ","Chiefly Musing", accessed 12 August 2011.
  7. ^ "Cabinet reshuffle: Jaipal gets Petroleum; Kamal Nath moved to Urban Development", "NDTV", accessed 10 February 2012.
  8. ^ "Cabinet reshuffle: Upgrade for Salman, Rahul boys likely", "The Times of India", accessed 27 November 2012.
  9. ^ Saghal, Priya. "UPA government has finally found a troubleshooter in Kamal Nath to replace Pranab Mukherjee". India Today. 
  10. ^ "Urban development minster Kamal Nath's rise". London: Daily Mail. 26 December 2012. 
  11. ^ "Detailed Profile: Shri Kamal Nath","India.gov.in", accessed 10 February 2012.
  12. ^ "Kamal Nath, the Gandhi buddy""Hindustan Times", accessed 10 February 2012.
  13. ^ Institute of information Management Technology, Ghaziabad "President's Message", accessed 12 August 2011.
  14. ^ http://www.parliamentofindia.nic.in "Biographical Sketch Member of Parliament 13th Lok Sabha", accessed 12 August 2011.
  15. ^ "India Everywhere" "Rural Infrastructure, Employment, FDI key to 8% growth 'Dream Team' addresses foreign investors", 28 January 2006, accessed 9 September 2011.
  16. ^ "Agence France Presse (AFP)" "Davos participants warn protectionism could stifle economic recovery", "The Daily Star" 2 February 2009 , accessed 9 September 2011.
  17. ^ "Alibaba.com" "Kamal Nath For Big Push To Economic Dimension of Indo-German Relations..", "Alibaba.com" 10 August 2010, accessed 9 September 2011
  18. ^ "Indialink Online: Kamal Nath" "Kamal Nath – 'India's Century' Launched in London", "India Link International" accessed 9 September 2011.
  19. ^ "TopNews.in" "Kamal Naths says, infrastructure development critical for inclusive growth", "TopNews.in" 23 January 2008, accessed 9 September 2011.
  20. ^ "Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion Ministry of Commerce & Industry""Delhi – Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) Project", "Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion Ministry of Commerce & Industry" accessed 9 September 2011.
  21. ^ "Zeenews.india.com""Kamal Nath advocates PPP model for infrastructure development", "Zeenews.india.com" 21 February 2011, accessed 9 September 2011.
  22. ^ http://www.indiatoday.intoday.in/site/Story/123591/Nation/rice+boils+over.html
  23. ^ http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?269673
  24. ^ "Wall Street Journal Blog" "An Apology from Tarun Das, Silence from Kamal Nath", 14 December 2010, accessed 15 November 2011.
  25. ^ The trial of Kamal Nath – Sheela Bhatt http://www.rediff.com/news/2005/aug/09sb1.htm
  26. ^ a b http://www.rediff.com/news/2005/aug/09sb1.htm
  27. ^ i–vi
  28. ^ Nanavati Commission – Full Text http://www.carnage84.com/homepage/nancom.htm
  29. ^ ["Sikhs protest Toronto visit by Indian minister," Toronto Star, 22 March 2010 http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/784367--sikhs-protest-toronto-visit-by-indian-minister]
  30. ^ [1]
  31. ^ ["Kamal Nath summoned by US court for alleged role in anti-Sikh riots" Times of India, 7 April 2010 http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2010-04-07/india/28141936_1_anti-sikh-riots-kamal-nath-gurpatwant-pannun]
  32. ^ ["'84 Riots: US Court Dismisses Complaint Against Nath" , "Outlook India", 16 March 2012, http://news.outlookindia.com/items.aspx?artid=755797]
  33. ^ "US court dismisses plea against Nath in anti-Sikh riots case", "IBN Live", 16 March 2012
  34. ^ "Damage to ecology: Kamal Nath fined by SC". Indian Express. 15 March 2002. Retrieved 2008-10-30. 
  35. ^ Lohr, Steve (15 April 2007). "Parsing the Truths About Visas for Tech Workers". The New York Times. 
  36. ^ "Kamal Nath, Indian minister for commerce and industry", The New York Times, 26 October 2008, accessed 12 August 2011.
  37. ^ "fDi Personality of the Year 2007 awards event at New Delhi 31st August 2007.", Indiaprwire.com, 25 August 2007.
  38. ^ "Business Reformer of the year 2008", The Economic Times Awards, accessed 12 August 2011.
  39. ^ "Kamal Nath, Anand Mahindra honoured with Asian business awards". The Indian Express. 28 November 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2013. 
  40. ^ "Winners of the Asian Business Leadership Forum Awards 2012". Asian Business Leadership Forum Awards. Retrieved 2 April 2013. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Jaipal Reddy
Minister of Urban Development
19 January 2011
Incumbent
Preceded by
T R Baalu
Minister of Road Transport and Highways
22 May 2009 – 18 January 2011
Succeeded by
C. P. Joshi
Preceded by
Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Minister of Commerce and Industry
23 May 2004–2009
Succeeded by
Anand Sharma