Mumbai: Industrialist Adi Godrej, chairman of the $4.1-billion Godrej Group, on Wednesday said that beef ban in several states is hurting India’s economy.
"Some of the things are affecting growth, for example, the ban on beef in some states. This is clearly affecting agriculture, affecting rural growth. Because what do you do with all these extra cows? It is also affecting business, because this was a good source of income for many farmers. So that’s a negative,” he told The Indian Express.
Godrej also said that Hinduism did not prohibit eating beef. “There is nothing against beef in our religion. It is a practice that evolved over years of drought, and the elders said don’t slaughter cows, preserve them for milk for children. That has turned into a religious belief. This is ridiculous. Vedic Indians were beef-eaters.”
Godrej praised the Bombay High Court’s decision that storage and consumption of beef cannot be stopped.
The industrialist also attacked prohibition, which has been imposed in several states, including Bihar. He said that political parties have been implementing prohibition in order to secure votes, especially those of women, but it hurts the country's economy. He further claimed that prohibition only leads to ‘bad liquor, and then mafia’ and it has never worked around the world, including in America.
Godrej, however, largely lauded the BJP government’s policies over the last two years. “Ease of doing business really helps. We have also benefited from low commodity prices,” he said.
“India will remain the fastest growing economy in the world… India will gradually emerge as a strong developed country,” he added.
Godrej stated that issues like the beef ban and prohibition do distract the government from its development agenda, but this was part of a democratic system.
“Clever democratic leaders will make sure that the disadvantages (of democracy) are minimised and the advantages are maximised,” he said.