India has a large pool of bright entrepreneurs and the government should trust them and give them a free hand especially in areas related to natural resources and exploration to reduce dependency on imports and become self-reliant, said Anil Agarwal, founder of Vedanta Group.
“India needs natural resources. More than 50 per cent of our revenues go into natural resources be it oil & gas, gold, copper, fertiliser, potash and even electronics. Everything you can make (in India). It is a place for entrepreneurs. Free them, let them make money,” said the chairman of the multinational mining major while speaking to Business Today at the World Economic Forum at Davos.
He further said that the “government has no business to be in a business” and while the current government is clear that they do not want to be in business, “government machinery and judiciary also has to work through digital to empower people”.
He pointed out that start-ups with so much of technology tools including artificial intelligence and data collection can be made part of exploration activities since India has abundant natural resources.
He further added that the ongoing geopolitical and macroeconomic concerns have put India in a sweet spot especially at a time when many do not work with China.
“(It is) very unfortunate what happened in Ukraine… This has positioned India in a very sweet spot. People don't like to work with the Chinese and they're looking at alternative… People are comfortable with Indian regulators and this government has created a huge credibility,” he said.
He, however, also cautioned that given India’s dependence on commodity imports, the country is in a vulnerable position as well since most prices have already doubled.
“Commodity prices have not gone up because of a shortage of the commodity but because of sanctions… resulting into a chaotic situation… India is in a very vulnerable position because we don't have a lot of these things and we need to import… commodity price has doubled already,” he said.
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