Welcoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi's clarion call for self-reliant India, former chief of the New Development Bank of BRICS countries, KV Kamath, said we must become ‘Aatma Nirbhar’ in a cost-competitive and efficient way.
In an exclusive interview with Network18, Kamath said, "Aatma Nirbhar Bharat is the call of the day. We need to become self-reliant efficiently. Aatma Nirbhar Bharat is a much bigger concept."
“Our focus should be on the challenges faced by corporate India. The system needs support to make self-reliant India work,” Kamath said, adding that “we need to revisit ease of doing business”.
The veteran banker also said he disagrees with economists who believe self-reliant India will lead to isolation vis-a-vis international trade.
"I don't think that is true at all. India is a very large market. As we enter the $5 trillion economy, the domestic market will expand, which means the domestic companies will have a large space to operate in," he said.
Further, speaking on the coronavirus pandemic and its impact, Kamath said that steps taken by the government have worked well for the Indian economy. Kamath said that new entrepreneurs have a new spirit and they can overcome the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.
"Agriculture sector has bounced back very quickly and rural India has been less affected by the challenges of Covid-19 crisis," Kamath said, adding that coronavirus is not going anywhere soon and we need to learn to live with it.
According to media reports, the 72-year-old IIM-Ahmedabad alumnus is being considered for a senior role in the BJP-led government. However, Kamath rebuffed the claims, saying he is not looking at any role with the government right now. "I need time to be with family. My thoughts are always with the country, but I need to put my feet up," he said.
Kamath was the CEO of ICICI Bank for 13 years until 2009, and the chairman of Infosys for nearly four years till 2015. His latest assignment was a five-year stint as the founding-president of the five-nation New Development Bank in Shanghai.