Munjal steps down as CII president-designate

Citing domestic and global business commitments, Hero MotoCorp chairman and CEO Pawan Munjal stepped down as president-designate of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for 2022-23. The industry body elected TVS Group’s R Dinesh as Munjal’s replacement.

Munjal announced his resignation from the post at CII’s National Council Meeting on Thursday, where he pointed out that his commitments towards Hero MotoCorp’s new global sustainability fund, in addition to the company itself, was the reason behind him stepping down, a person who attended the meeting told The Indian Express.

The CII National Council Meeting was attended by more than 50 industry leaders, including DCM Sriram chairman and senior managing director Ajay Sriram, Toyota Kirloskar Motor vice chairman Vikram Kirloskar, and Bharti Enterprises vice chairman Rakesh Bharti Mittal. Current CII leadership comprising president Sanjiv Bajaj and director general Chandrajit Banerjee were also present.

Hero MotoCorp, the country’s largest two-wheeler maker, had in March announced a $ 100-million global fund to nurture 10,000 entrepreneurs on environmental, social and governance solutions, along with the company’s electric mobility brand Vida. At the time, Munjal had said that he would “lead this initiative from the front”.

Munjal was announced CII president-designate on May 12, along with Dinesh as the vice president-designate. ITC chairman and MD Sanjiv Puri has now been elected vice president Designate for 2022-23.

A CII spokesperson said: “Dr Pawan Munjal stepped back because of his domestic and foreign business commitments.” Hero MotoCorp did not respond to an email seeking comments.

On March 23, around a fortnight after the Punjab Assembly elections, the Income Tax Department had conducted raids at Hero MotoCorp’s premises. Days after the raids were launched, the tax department, in a March 31 statement, had said it conducted a search and seizure operation on a “leading automobile manufacturer group”.

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“In the search, it was also found that 10 acres of farm land at Delhi was purchased through few paper companies. In such transactions, unaccounted cash component of over Rs. 60 crore was purportedly involved. The ultimate/ real beneficiary of the land deal is a prominent person of the automobile manufacturer group. The intermediary who facilitated the said deal has admitted in his statement that major part of the sale consideration was paid in cash, ”the statement had said.

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