Even as job creation assumes heightened, Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy lauded PM Modi’s ‘Make in India’ campaign, and said that manufacturing sector has scope to provide employment to the country’s illiterates and semi-literates. “The Prime Minister’s emphasis on Make in India is very good. But we have to reduce the friction to Indian entrepreneurs and foreign companies to start new manufacturing entities in India as manufacturing has considerable scope for even semi-illiterates and illiterates too,” Narayana Murthy said in an interview to the Indian Express.
According to the veteran industrialist, unlike a decade ago when software services companies were top recruiters, sectors like information technology cannot create a large number of jobs now. Murthy took Infosys as a case in point and said that while in 2014, the company used to have an annual intake of 25,000, it has now dipped to 15,000 owing to slower growth, leaving an impact on the number of jobs which are created. “It is a worrisome trend,” he observed.
Murthy explained that in a country like India with 400 million semi-literates and 400 million illiterates, job creation will have to come from manufacturing and low tech services. Accordingly, he called for the the government, both at the federal level and in states, and the bureaucracy to end the tyranny of factory inspectors, eliminate conflicts around GST and reduce the time frame for receiving approvals to a fortnight to boost entrepreneurship. Hence, it was important for politicians, bureaucrats and corporate leaders to sit together and think of how to accelerate growth and create more jobs, he pointed out.
In an effort to tackle the ever widening gap between haves and have nots, Narayana Murthy called out to India’s rich and the elite need to take responsibility and demonstrate that rising inequality in the country can be reduced to ensure peace and harmony in the society or risk violence. The Gini coefficient, which measures income distribution among countries, has been on the rise, and was flagged by the International Monetary Fund and economists such as Thomas Piketty, making it vital for the rich, the powerful and the elite to come together to recognise this and work towards reducing the Gini coefficient.
“When does violence pervade a society? When people lose hope. And who is responsible for hope? It is the rich, the powerful and the elite who can enhance hope. Therefore, it is their responsibility to keep hope alive. The day, the rich, the powerful and the elite do not take responsibility for this and for ensuring peace, you will have violence,” Narayana Murthy told the newspaper.