'Only capitalism can solve poverty'

The Infosys chief says privatisation is the only way to tackle poverty.

india Updated: Jan 06, 2007 23:33 IST
Anil Anand

Describing capitalism as a panacea for poverty eradication, founding chairman of Infosys, NR Narayanmurthy said that capitalism and privatisation of the public sector was the only hope to tackle this menace.

Strongly defending capitalism, he told Karan Thapar in a programme to a private news channel that it provides equal opportunity for everyone. It is the government's responsibility to create a congenial environment for the entrepreneurs to create more jobs, he said adding: "Capitalism also thrives in an environment of competition. Let us remember that all countries which embraced Communism have failed."

Narayanmurthy also supported multinational companies' entry in the retail sector."When we have opened the sector to large Indian groups, it means that mom and pop stores are likely to suffer anyway, why not permit large multinationals. The MNCs' entry will ultimately benefit the consumer as they will bring in the best technology and practices."

Talking about"a serious crisis in the Indian leadership at many levels," he made a special mention about Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and added: "I personally think we have one such leader with the vision, political capacity and courage to force through the change.The very fragile coalition he leads is holding him back."

On privatisation of PSUs, Narayanmurthy went a step further and advocated handing over even the 'Navratna' PSUs to the private sector. "The Narvaratnas will perform better in the private sector or if they operate as if they are in the private sector. I do not believe that the government should be in business," he observed.

Similarly Narayanamurthy felt that infrastructure should also be built by the private sector. The government should confine itself to create policies that encourage the private sector to create infrastructure such as roads, power projects, airports etc, he said.

The Infosys founder further felt that education and healthcare in the urban areas should come under the private sector. On its part, the government should provide subsidies in the shape of vouchersas stated by Noble laureate Milton Friedman.

Email Anil Anand: aanand@hindustantimes.com

First Published: Jan 06, 2007 09:52 IST