Govt shouldn’t strip assets before privatising: Anil Agarwal, Vedanta

As one of India’s largest and most diversified miners, whose growth is closely related to India’s GDP, do you think the Budget announcements will help bring growth back.

They are two different things: one, of course, is that everything is connected to GDP. The first thing they have addressed is the agriculture and rural segment, the poor people. Uplifting the poor, eradicating poverty and the way they have addressed it — the plan for warehousing, NABARD, food corporation to enhance the realisation of farmers — is impressive.

They have addressed the fertiliser issue. They have addressed solar. These things are very well addressed. Then you come to the business side; for the first time in 30 years I have seen wealth creators being appreciated. All over the world this is the first thing: saying thank you very much to the wealth creators will go long way. This is a country of entrepreneurs and they have said we will encourage the entrepreneur.

That will go a long way, because they take risks and they need support to take that risk. This was very well highlighted in the dividend tax overhaul. They have done whatever best they could have done for this country.

The government does not enough fiscal space to push growth. How should they find that balance between fiscal prudence and growth? We saw them trying to maintain that balance in this Budget, but would you have liked to see it differently?

Going forward, major growth will come when privatisation and corporatisation of the public sector happen. Because this has the capacity to increase production almost three times. We have done it five times.

Once they become independent, when 13-14 banks become independent, they will create massive growth in this country. The biggest thing will happen when the microfinance, which is the flavour of the world, takes off.

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