As India aspires to bring its rural population out of poverty, Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy on Wednesday argued for moving majority of agricultural workers into low- technology manufacturing and services and said that there was no other way of improving the life of these 60 per cent of Indians.
“My belief is that it is only possible if we move a majority of our agricultural workers from agriculture to low technology manufacturing and services as most of them work hard but produce very little in agriculture and they are hardly literate and do not possess skill,” said Murthy. He was speaking at the 6th Annual lecture of Competition Commission of India.
He pointed that the per capita GDP of an agricultural worker is about $375 dollar a year or $1 a day. Therefore any improvement in his or her life can happen if the contribution of agriculture in GDP is hiked by improving worker productivity. Calling skill development as critical in creating jobs, Murthy credited previous government with starting the programme.
While he said that competition was the most important aspect for survival, he pointed out the fate of stressed public sector enterprises. “We have seen examples of public sector monopolistic companies dying and the sad attempt of the government to prop them up…” said Murthy.
He also said that it was critical that foreign investors to have faith in regulators as India needs a lot of foreign investment. Answering to a question on the performance of the government, Murthy said, “Our Prime Minister is energetic, enthusiastic and hard working and we must all rally behind him and set aside our differences.”