Business

‘Economy revival is around the corner’

Anil Agarwal

Anil Agarwal  

PSU productivity can zoom 3-fold if govt. lowers stake to 50%: Vedanta’s Agarwal

Even as the country’s economy is under pressure amid the slowdown, Vedanta Resources chairman Anil Agarwal believes that a revival is just around the corner.

“The way the government is taking bold decisions, I am confident that the economy will bounce back over the next 12 months. I would urge my fellow countrymen to give this government a chance and let them continue with the good work,” Mr. Agarwal said in an interaction with The Hindu.

Lauding the government for recognising the role of entrepreneurs in nation building, Mr. Agarwal said that the Union Budget’s focus on transparency and reducing tax litigation would go a long way in propelling India to become a $5 trillion economy.

“The FM has also shown willingness to settle tax disputes and create a conducive environment for business. This move to settle tax disputes will give India a big push with regard to ease of doing business and making it a $5 trillion economy,” Mr. Agarwal said.

He also welcomed the government’s thrust on disinvestment, while stressing that public sector companies and banks needed to be run independently for better productivity.

“There is a lot of value erosion that is happening right now. I am sure that the productivity of these public sector units can increase threefold if they are allowed to function independently. And for this to happen, the government needs to bring down their stake in these companies to 50%,” he said.

On the Budget’s disinvestment target of ₹2.1 lakh crore, Mr. Agarwal said: “The government is on the right track. They are looking to sell stake in Air India and BPCL. Hindustan Zinc disinvestment is also on the cards.”

Stating that the rules of doing business have changed, Mr. Agarwal lauded the government for creating an ecosystem where only sound business ideas become successful today. “India is the largest start-up in the world, and the focus on transparency is a big boost for the younger generation,” he added.

Pitch for oil exploration

Making a strong pitch to boost oil exploration, Mr. Agarwal said: “India has huge oil reserves. Except Cairn, there is no other oil producer in the private sector. We need at least 50 more companies. If any major crisis hits the Gulf, [the country] will have no supply of oil. So, it is important that we produce at least 50% of our oil requirements.

“The government should bring in a regime of self-certification wherein companies can start off with exploration activities once they get the environmental clearance. Also, it is important that explorers get international price for their output,” Mr. Agarwal said.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 11:20:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/economy-revival-is-around-the-corner/article30772178.ece

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