As 2019 draws to a close, Mint invites thought leaders, heads of corporates and policymakers to share their vision for the decade ahead. Anil Agarwal, executive chairman of Vedanta Resources Ltd, tells Tanya Thomas the need of the hour is formulation of a comprehensive policy for responsible exploration of natural resources.
Leave business to businesses
Public sector units (PSUs), including state-owned banks, are the backbone of our country. In a democratic country like ours, entrepreneurs and private entities should run businesses with the government functioning as the regulator. The revenue should be used to provide infrastructure. PSUs should be autonomous and empowered with strong and independent boards with the power to make their own decisions.
Curb snowballing import bill
India is blessed with a rich reserve of natural resources, yet the country is becoming a dumping ground and is flooded with cheap imports. The need of the hour is the formulation of a comprehensive policy for responsible exploration of natural resources. Encouragement to explore natural resources will lead to self-reliance, save billions of dollars in imports and generate jobs, paving way for development.
Encourage liberal arts, create jobs
More than 65% of the population is below the age of 35, and the country is known for its young and intellectual workforce. The key focus of the government should be job creation and proposing a technology-driven curriculum to prepare youth for the future. India needs to take a cue from the Western world, where liberal arts universities help 35% of the population explore other career opportunities.
Quick clearance and self-certification
The biggest issue hampering the growth of industries is the time taken for clearances. The solution is simple—put them in self-certification. You must start trusting people, and heavy penalties should be levied if they don’t comply. With our government’s interventions, a lot of procedures are on self-certification mode—income tax, sales tax, excise are initiated through self-certification and assessed later.
Development cannot be at the cost of the earth, it has to be sustainable. We need to take care of the environment. Great strides and advancements in technologies have made everything possible and efficiently utilizing these technologies can not only enhance growth but conserve the environment as well.