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Mukesh Ambani's mantra to solve current account deficit problem

November 14, 2013 08:59 IST

Mukesh Ambani's mantra to solve current account deficit problem

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BS Reporter in Mumbai

Painting an optimistic picture of India, Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani said India can solve its current account deficit problem by increased use of technology across all spheres of industries, especially in the energy sector.

Addressing a gathering of Asia Society in Mumbai on the launch of a collection of essays called ‘Reimagining India: Unlocking the Potential of Asia’s Next Superpower’ on Tuesday evening, Ambani said delivery of education, means of livelihood and healthcare services can be expedited if the country embraces technology.

“India is not behind in innovation.

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Image: Mukesh Ambani.
Photographs: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

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“By embracing technology, education can be provided to all Indians across the country,” said Ambani.

On CAD, Ambani said the problem was mainly due to import of energy products such as oil and gas.

“For a country like India, there is no other option but to rely on technology, even to solve our energy problems.”

The US, one of the world’s biggest energy consumers, has now become an exporter of gas, thanks to improved technology to generate gas from shale deposits.

Gas prices also tanked in the US to just $2 a unit due to shale gas production.

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Image: RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan.
Photographs: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

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This model can be replicated in India.

“A pre-requisite to solve CAD problem is education, and to make 250 million young Indians acquire skills and make most of available technology," said Ambani.

Ambani is one of the contributors to the book along with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria; Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates; Google chairman Eric Schmidt; Harvard Business School dean Nitin Nohria; Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal and Nandan Nilekani, chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India and co-founder of Infosys.

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Image: Mukesh Ambani.
Photographs: Reuters

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Ambani said broadband technology is providing access to opportunities irrespective of geographies.

“So, you can access them in all the 5,432 small towns and cities, and 600,000 villages in a matter of a couple of years and then scale up.

“That is what gives me optimism and positivity.”

Reliance is investing close to $5 billion in the launch of broadband services in India.

It is important to bring 700-800 million Indians who remained excluded from India’s success story in the last 20 years to the economic mainstream.

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Image: A shopkeeper writes currency exchange rates on a board inside a currency exchange shop in Kolkata.
Photographs: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters

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“If we manage to bring this segment into the economic mainstream, it will result in enormous enhancement of India’s economic and non-economic power as we will generate equality in access despite inequality in income,” said Ambani.

Mahindra Group chairman Anand Mahindra said India has a chance to create a completely new template of development. He added smaller states are better to manage.

“I have no problem about more states coming up.

“If size is the issue, make it (states) more manageable.”

Reimagining India: Unlocking the Potential of Asia’s Next Superpower is published by McKinsey and it brings together leading thinkers from around the world to explore and debate the challenges and opportunities facing the country.


Photographs: Reuters

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