Yusuf Unjhawala On $30 Trillion Economy, US-China Dominance & Taiwan | Abhijit Chavda Podcast 33 | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "Yusuf Unjhawala On $30 Trillion Economy, US-China Dominance & Taiwan | Abhijit Chavda Podcast 33".

1970-01-03T10:29:05.000Z

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Video Start

Introduction (00:00)

Imran Khan is doing her job well. How much is it? No, nothing. Militarily, it's going to be foolish. China is doing it. China is doing it. They steal, they go and get people from anywhere. The following is a podcast with Yusuf Unjawala. Yusuf Unjawala is an editor at the Defense Forum India and he is a commentator on defense and strategic affairs. Please subscribe and enjoy the podcast. Yusuf Unjawala, welcome to the Abhijit Jawa podcast.


Discussion On India'S Defense Capacity And Indo-Pacific Strategy

Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the U:S:A (00:30)

It's great to have you on. Thanks so much, Abhijit. Pleasure to be here. So there's a lot to discuss today, but let us begin with Prime Minister Modi's visit to the US. So we have seen the joint statement and all that. So what's your overall opinion about that? What were the deliverables? What are the outcomes? And where does it take the India-US relationship forward? I think Prime Minister Modi described it well in his joint address to the US Congress. The joint statement is comprehensive. So far, if you've seen the last few years since the ties took off sometime in the last decade, after the nuclear deal, it was kind of unidirectional. It was all security, defense cooperation. But the crux of India-US ties have to be economics, especially from India's point of view. And obviously from the US point of view, because we are a large market and they would like to tap that. So this visit kind of puts India-US relationship entrenched in that economic domain. Otherwise, it was very unidirectional and such relations then tend to get transactional and then kind of derail at some point. So I think this visit has put India-US relation or a very firm footing as far as economic. Because obviously, it has to deliver. So we will see how it pans out. But at least it has given a good direction to the relationship. So I think this visit was very important. So what are the economic aspects of the joint statement? What do you think is his outcome? So one is investments in India, especially in advanced technologies. So the ISET is coming up, which was signed earlier or rather discussed earlier. This year when National Security Advisor, Arjit Doval, went to the US and it's coming in the framework of the security domain. But advanced technologies, we have great stress on semiconductors. It is also part of the Quad initiative. So that part, space, I think we have taken that level up as well. The Artemis Accord. The Artemis Accord is one. Secondly, also something which will be very symbolic of our relationship is Indian astronaut on board a US spaceship going to the International Space Station. This is similar to what happened in the previous century when we were closely aligned with the Soviets and our astronaut went on a Russian spaceship. Yes. It's kind of symbolic, right? That way, which direction, relationship or how the strength of our ties. So that is another one. Similarly, defense, trade and technology. Although it is required from a defense perspective, but also in terms of economic, in terms of economics, all that investment coming into India will create a lot of jobs over here, create capacities over here. And that has run offs in the civilian space as well. So it is all required. So this visit was great. Obviously, both the countries will have to work, especially India. Because it's us who wants to attract all that money and technology. We'll have to create all those enabling conditions, which will attract all the US companies and as well as Western companies to India. What do you think is India's position or India's importance vis-a-vis the US when it comes to the Asia Pacific region?


Whats Indias position when it comes to the Indo-Pacific region? (03:53)

Indo-Pacific. I don't know what the term is these days. But the Indo-Pacific. So obviously, India has been called a linchpin of the Indo-Pacific, right? Right from George W Bush. Right. So we are the key element of the Indo-Pacific. We are the I mean, without India, there is no Indo-Pacific. So the importance is growing. We are a growing economy. Already fifth largest, probably in about three or four years will be the third largest economy in the world. Our military strength is also increasing. And for the US whose power is getting stretched, right, especially in the naval domain, although it remains incredibly strong, no doubt about it. But the thing is, it also has its own, you know, interests all over the world. And it does not have that kind of resources to go and be in all over the, you know, in every place. So this is where India comes in, where India can take care of the Indian Ocean region, which the US is very happy to see control. In fact, this is something which one of the US admirals, I think, said very recently, the Shangri-lei dialogue that, you know, they want India to take a leadership position. And this is the US asking India to take a leadership position. When has that ever happened? US asking someone else to take a leadership position. But this is good news for us. So, you know what, we always had a problem with anybody else being in our backyard. Although people don't like the term, use a term like this is your backyard, backyard or my backyard. But, okay, for lack of better words, you'll say this is our. So in our own region, we are the ones going to provide security. We are going to take care of our responsibilities. The US then does not have to deploy a lot of resources in this region. So that helps them. Does it take care of, you know, the Western Pacific side, so can devote all the resources on the other side.


Does India have the naval capacity to take care of the Indian ocean region? (05:49)

The question I want to ask is, does India have a naval capability to take care of the Indian Ocean region? Do we have the number of ships that we need, submarines, all that resources? We are stressed ourselves. But since geography supports us, we are okay. But that is not to say that, no, we are, it's all good. All right. Our summary, you talked about summaries. Our submarine strength is depleting. Within the next three, four, five years, I think all of our kilos will be decommissioned. And we'll be left with just six of the new scorpions. So that is what is going to be our next submarine project is yet to take off. And when we signed the document till the first somebody knows, I was going to be a long, long time. We are missing a big trick over here. I mean, you know, the P75I project was supposed to start along with the P75. It was envisioned as a parallel project with two separate companies, right? Two separate lines, including a private player. And then the learnings from that would have gone into making an indigenous submarine project. That has not happened. And we can't again go with the imported submarine. In my opinion, when we are making our own, No, no, we are making our own ballistic missile, nuclear ballistic missile submarines. We have a program to start our own attack, nuclear attack submarines. Yes. I'm sure we can make our own conventional submarines, get everybody on board from all the learnings that we've got from the scorpion project, from a previous project of the HDW. I mean, we got a technology transfer for that submarine as well. We should use those capabilities to come up with our own project because if we again import, I don't know where it is going to land. And it's going to be very expensive. The Aussies found out, right? Just putting the Barracuda, it was something like a $50 billion odd project. Yes, 150 billion. No, just the Barracuda. So why can't we make more of the scorpions? We know how to make the hull and all that. So that's an obvious thing to do in the interim. Yes. Right. It's an obvious thing to do because there is a severe capability gap right now, operational capability gap. And we have the assembly line. We have everything is there. So we have, I mean, that's an obvious thing. People like me have been saying that, you know, just make three, maybe six more. Six more. And have an indigenous project rolling already. Yes. It is imperative that we do that because we have the building blocks, the technologies exist. You know, you have, you know, companies like say L and T, which is closely associated with the nuclear project, nuclear submarine project. I mean, they can come up MDL, obviously. It has to be a national effort. There is there is no nothing which stops us from doing that, from a political will, I guess. How many submarines do you think India ideally needs? I think the naval planning was about 30 submarines. Okay.


How many ships does India need? (08:35)

That would include six nuclear attacks submarines. And that has been already scaled down. I think it is about 24 now because we can't get there. Okay. So already scaled down. Even our entire naval plan got pared down from say 200 warship, which was going to be in 2027 to 175 by 2027, which we are not going to meet even that. I see. Because we've just not invested enough. We have not taken those decisions. So if we don't have the naval assets, then how can we properly monitor, I mean, you know, patrol the Indian Ocean region? So we can do that, but then it will limit us. It will stretch us. No, it will limit us in terms of our ability to do something more. All right. Today, we are at three and a half, nearly four trillion, three point seven trillion dollar economy. Yes. Right. In about by the end of this decade will be about say seven trillion dollar economy and we go further with ten trillion dollar economy. Our interests are not limited to just the Indian Ocean. Right. Yes. All right. Our interests are going to stretch far and wide, including into the South China Sea. It is already there in the South China Sea. It is already there. Yes. A lot of our, I think 40 or 50 percent of our trade goes to that region. And you have a very friendly country over there, which claims the entire seas. Yes. We will need to protect our interests. Right. Yes. You will need that. Project power elsewhere. Yes. Not only project power, but safeguard our interests. And what stops us from going into the eastern coast of Atlantic? I mean, we have our interests all over the world. We will continually have our expanding interests. You know, Nigeria at one time was a big supplier of oil for us. Yes. Right. The Chinese are looking at a base in Namibia. All right. So we will need those assets and naval projects take a long time to come up. Yes. The decisions that we take today are seen well into the future. So even something like an aircraft carrier, the third carrier that the Navy wants. If we don't take a decision today, we're not going to have it when we need it. It's not that the thing can just come up overnight. It will not. It takes 10, 15 years to build. And it's not just that then the entire manpower, the human resource that has to, you know, that goes into them. That is what makes the carrier operational, right? The entire human resources. Right. And that is what the Chinese are finding very difficult today. Although they have got a couple of carriers, but they don't have that kind of human expertise, which India has gathered over the years because since the 1950s, we've been operating carriers. Yes. So the decision has to be taken today. I mean, we cannot deprive our future generations of the capabilities that they will need. Yes. For lack of decisions that we take today, for whatever reasons, even if it's economic. I mean, you have to plan that out and we can. How many carriers does India need ideally?


How many aircraft carriers does India need? (11:31)

Three is what the Navy says and that will then future depend on our requirements, maybe till five at some point, maybe not today, but in the future. I remember reading somewhere, you know, five is what India would need at some point. Okay. And what's the purpose of a carrier? The purpose of the carrier is ideally to, you know, one is to project power. Obviously, you show your flag or it's a lot of diplomacy floating on the sea. Right. It's your sovereign territory floating in the sea. It assures friends. I mean, for a country like India, which has diaspora all over the world, it reassures us. It isn't that, you know, you're safe anywhere and there's any trouble, we'll get you out. And that is what India has continually done over the decades. To safeguard our energy roots, our resources, both raw materials and then also our products, which we export. I mean, as India's economy grows, our exports will grow, our imports will grow and we need to secure all that. Also, as a deterrent, we don't want the enemy to come and finger us or kind of create impediments in our own growth, in our own security. So, all that is required. And, you know, we can't say that, you know, things like our Andaman, Nicobar Island is a fixed, you know, it's an aircraft carrier. It is not an aircraft carrier. It can be bombed and it'll be out of order. Right. But, you know, a carrier gives you a lot of options. And the argument against a carrier that some people put is that, you know, it'll be a sitting duck. The purpose of the carrier is more during peacetime, where you're able to project a lot of power. It's power projection, not one idea. It is a big tool in your diplomacy. It helps you achieve objectives. It's not just to fight wars. I mean, we don't need to do that. Yes. Ideally, we don't want to fight wars. We don't want to fight wars. We want to prevent, we want to deter one. So, have all the capabilities that deters a war and a carrier is one of them. What do you think of the BRICS, the BRICS grouping of nations? Do you think it's going to keep expanding? Does India have a significant role to play in that? And where does it fit in vis-a-vis our worldview?


India'S Role In Brics

Does India have a significant role in BRICS? (13:31)

So, I was always against the BRICS and the SCO. Okay. We are a misfit over there. I always kept wondering what are we doing there? But, off late, I've come to think, I may be wrong. But, we are in it, obviously to protect our interests and make sure none of the decisions that are taken are against our interests because everything works by consensus. But, I think we may be in it to undermine it from within. Even the SCO? Of course. Of course. No decision can be taken without consensus. If there is anything which is against us, we will obviously block it. We will not let any consensus build up at all. So, nothing will happen. So, although our friends in the West would think what are we doing there? But, it's something which I also used to think at one time, what are we doing in this organization? But, I think it may be a smart move. Okay. So, in case India is going to play the role of a spoiler, let's say, why did China and Russia allow us to come in there? Good. Though, Russia was pushing for India's inclusion into the SCO. Yes. Because it also has inhibitions against China. Although, it's now after this war in Ukraine, it's further into the Chinese camp. But, all is not well overall. And in the future, it's going to play out differently as compared to all this Bohn-Hamy that Putin and Xi are showing. So, Russia wanted India as a counterweight to China within the group. Yes. In the BRICS, it's similar. Russia also wants to have some sort of relevance on the global stage. It is pushing for this BRICS currency, which India has already said no. Mr. Jayashankar very recently said that BRICS currency is not something that we are talking about. And, currency will remain as a national issue for a long time to come. So, we have shut the BRICS currency out already. I mean, obviously, it makes sense. I would rather say that we have to internationalize, or maybe at least regionalize the rupee, right, in our region, right? Start with BIMSTEC, Gulf region, East Coast of Africa. I mean, these are the very obvious things that we have obviously lot to do with our own policies at home. You know, you can't keep taking currency out of circulation and all that stuff. It hurts our credibility in that regard. But, we will have to make efforts to make rupee as at least the regional trade currency. And, as our economy grows, it will make sense for them to adopt a currency. In fact, it's happening, right? Bangladesh now wants to trade with rupee because it is depleting dollar reserves because of the troubles that they are facing. Sri Lanka would probably be okay because it owes us so much and it's our neighbor. Yes. Obviously, the only one in the neighborhood that will never be part of this is the obvious one. But, rest of the country should not have a problem. Gulf countries in the future may be, I think, got on board. We have a free trade agreement with the UAE, a very close trading partner. Our trade has gone up with them significantly after we signed the trade agreement. I think there is a trade agreement with the Saudis in the works. And, we have 70 lakhs of our people living over there. In the Gulf. In the Gulf. So, it makes sense for India to take steps in that direction. So, this BRICS currency is something that India is not subscribing. It should not subscribe. The Russians obviously have a vested interest because they want their own trade to happen because the ruble is in trouble. Yes. They can't accept dollars because of their sanctions. It works in their favor but it's not in our favor. Why would we do that? Recently, India started paying for Russian oil in Chinese Yuan. What do you make of this development? Wow! It's very concerning. Why should we internationalize the Yuan? Why should we help the Chinese? I think the Russians were complaining that we have too many rupees. Yes. So, this entire thing is Russian doing. What is the quantum that is not out yet? I don't think there has been any official clarification or any official statement by anybody in this regard yet. At least I have not read that but I don't think we should be trading any Yuan at all. Right. Maybe it is a tactical move. I don't even say you can think of it as a tactical move because the Chinese will go to town with this. Yes. What do you think of the Russia-China relationship? Do you think they are long term adversaries or allies? So, there is this thing, right? The Chinese-Russian closeness is instead of a hug. No, they describe it as back to back. Back to back. Alright. We are close. But this way. So, it is kind of apt description I guess. You know, they have their problems. The Chinese are an expansionist country. They have their eyes on the Russian Far East. Yes. Manchuria. North of Manchuria and other. Right. So, I mean they have even given names. They have recently. They have even given names. There is a lot of Chinese presence over there. And in the long term, it is going to get, I mean the Chinese are not going to change. So, for now, it is all good. Not good for us. Yeah. And that is something that probably we are in the SCO and other organizations for even the RIC and the BRICS. Is to make sure the Russians don't get too close to China. Although that is not in our control. They are already close. They are too dependent on the Chinese now. And that is nothing that we can do about it, right? So, what do you think India should do? What about the India-Russia relationship? How do you see that going? I mean historically we have been very close. We were essentially a Soviet satellite state to our next country. We were never a satellite state. So, I will correct you over there. We were not a satellite state. But we were closely aligned with the. We were totally of the Soviet camp. In the Soviet camp for sure. We were aligned. We were leaning towards them. Not even aligned. We always used to say that we are non-aligned. But we were obviously tilting towards them. Because obvious reasons. They gave us a lot of weapons. They invested in steel factories and dams and things like that. So, obviously we were close to them. So, how is the situation now and how do you see this relationship progressing? So, for a long time India-Russia relationship has become transactional. Because it was unidimensional. And it is something I referred to earlier in our India-US relationship, right? If you are just fixated with the defense aspect then obviously there are limits to what you can do. India-Russia trade for a long time has been stagnant. 6, 7, 8, 10 billion dollars. And heavily in favor of Russia because it is all weapons. All weapons. It has changed now with oil coming in and suddenly our trade has gone up. It has gone up by what? 4x? So, from nearly 8, 10 billion dollars it has gone to nearly 45 billion dollars. And it is all oil. So, it was unidimensional. It remains that way. And there are obviously limits to that. Russian interests elsewhere started to hurt us and that is with relations to Pakistan. Russia has started growing close to Pakistan. It has sold weapons to it. In fact, Lavrov went to Pakistan and once it was reported that he said that you have a blank check from Putin about whatever you want. It is only this war kind of made Russia realize the importance of India. Yes. And because of our position, because of us buying oil and standing up to what we thought was right for us. Yes. Alright. But even recently Lavrov did all kind of bye-bye with Pakistan and cited Jinnah and shared some values. I don't know what was he talking? What values really? Something. Something on those lines. This is our friend Russia. Yes, right. Right. Before that in the UN, their ambassador in the UN cited UN resolutions on Kashmir. Okay. Right. This is after China took Article 370 to the UN. Okay. And this was Russia. And you know, all that has been happening and then add to Russia getting close to China. It has been always selling weapons. The latest weapons that China wanted with China reverse engineered. Yes. Russia, China strategic bomber patrols. Russia, China close intelligence cooperation. Russian planes landing in China, Chinese planes landing, I mean fighter planes landing in Russia. This is the level of their cooperation now. So now it puts us in a problem. And this war in Ukraine has made it worse. A) because it has pushed Russia further into Chinese camp and all our weapons are coming from there. Two things there again. It is going to prioritize its own requirements and not supply to us. Secondly, China will say, "Hi, I am a man." And if there is any supplies coming from Russia, imagine Chinese semiconductors, Chinese chips in those weapons now, because the Western chips are not going to Russia. That's right. Yes. Makes worse for us. So we'll have to figure it out. We're already doing that, right? Now the whole thing of Atman Ihrvarta and indigenous manufacturing is all picked up because now we realize that. Now our dependency is nearly 87% dependency is too much. Way too much. Way too much. Yes. And the Russians were doing this Druschba exercises with the Pakistanis from 2016 onwards or 2017 onwards. You know, joint military drills and exercises up to 2021 and 2022 onwards they've stopped because of the Ukraine war and they needed India. So that's another example of the Russia-Pakistan. They were going to exercise in Pakistan occupied Kashmir. I see. I see. Wonderful. And this is when noise was raised over here and then they scaled it back. I mean, imagine that. So even on the Afghanistan thing, right, the Russian position was closely aligned with Pakistan. They did not even invite us for the talks. Their minister or was it the ambassador is on record saying that, you know, India does not have any leverage over Taliban and you know, you can't expect much from India and Afghanistan. So we'll invite you later. Yes. So we were excluded from those were excluded talks. Yes. So Russia was very cocky with us. We kind of kept because we want to take out our own benefits from it, like, you know, buy weapons and things like that. So we stuck to that. But overall, the relation was down. We have been importing Russian weapons for decades. Why haven't we bothered to reverse engineer them? The Chinese reverse engineered everything, everything. So many factors, industrial capability, right. The Chinese are able to do a lot of things because they have developed a massive industrial might. Thanks to all the Western investment that came in, they understood machining technologies. They understood, you know, metallurgy. Our biggest problem is metallurgy. Right. Understanding the technology behind the wise and, you know, warts and things like that of metallurgy. We lacked in that even things like, you know, machining technologies, machines, you know, even the Russians today import machines from the West to manufacture their weapons. It is going to be denied to them. They depended on Japanese and other machineries to make the weapon. So machining technologies is something that, you know, not everybody has. And you're and you need those. We lack those. I mean, today we are a lot more, you know, closer to the West and we can get a lot of things from there in terms of all these technologies that that can help us reverse engineer. But it has to be completely, you know, top down kind of directive by a car. Get it done. Otherwise, you've been assembling fighter jets, tanks, engines, everything. Everything. And we still don't have an engine. We still don't have things of our own. So accountability is another thing. You know, just PSUs are never going to deliver for us. If you look at one of the orders which has gone to the private sector, they delivered on ahead of schedule despite the pandemic, which is the L and D order for the K-9 self-propelled howitzer. And look at what the government gave an order of 100. 100. Production done, lying idle. Then they've decided now that TK will give you order for another 200, I think 100 or another 200. So these kind of piecemeal orders does no good. So you will have to figure out that our investments in research and development and who's doing the research and development is also, you know, something that the government has to think. It is already doing that from the research and development budget. 25% has been earmarked for the private sector, but still 75% will go to DRDO. And you have to read the CAG report on DRDO as to what is doing. What is the deliverables? They have declared projects as success despite not achieving any success. I see. Or maybe not achieving all the parameters of what would count as a successful project. I see. Things like these are happening. What is accountability of that? Very problematic. So we've been doing what we'll properly call it screwdriver agree for a long time. And we're still there. I mean, recently you would have probably heard about the G engine deal with the U.S.M.O.U has been fine. There's still no deal yet. It's an MOU only. It's an MOU. I think there are still probably a lot of loose ends still there. Yes. That have to be tied up. But again, it's going to end of problematic thing that I see is going to be a chill and a chill has been assembling engines for all the MiGs and the Sukhois for a long time. Where are they analogy with them? I don't know what we have to involve the private sector. I don't think they're going to transfer the core critical technology. The turbine blades and all that the single crystal turbine blades and all that. We don't know what is going to. I don't think they would ever transfer that. We don't know what's going to happen. We don't know because they may choose to. Because this jet engine can be the transformational deal in defense sector between the two countries like the nuclear deal was. How it changed the ties. Although no nuclear reactor ever got built, nothing happened. But that was the moment. So even this visit of Modi was all about trust. There is a huge emphasis on that trust. And that is where we're taking off from. So we'll have to see because the deal is still not signed. It's not the same I say with Russia. Where the government can tell you Putin can say, "They don't know." And even they don't share everything. Even they don't. Like with the T90s, they did not share the metallurgy of the barrel. So not everybody shares. Because obviously you want to hold something back, you want to milk it. That's how it is. I mean if I had all the technology, I'll not share it. I mean I would like to milk it to the max and build on it and sell you the next generation stuff as well. But I think the key for India will be to plug into all these western companies, especially the US companies, into their supply chains. Learn bit by bit. Be focused. Learn bit by bit. You learn to make all these small components. That small will become big and then you have a certain capability within the country. Right. And don't stop your own research. I mean look at our investment in engine research and development. The Kaveri engine. The Kaveri engine, yes. Let's talk about that. Do you know how much we've invested in R&D? I have no idea. Over a couple of decades, you guess. A few thousand crores? How many few thousands? Maybe ten thousand crores. I'm not sure. About two and a half thousand crores. Two and a half thousand crores, okay. Two and a half thousand crores. That's a lot of money. No it's not. It's not? Spread over two decades. How many billions is that? Dollars? In today's dollar terms, two hundred and fifty, three hundred million dollars. Two hundred million dollars. That's nothing. That's peanuts. Right, okay. China has invested billions and billions of dollars in developing jet engines and it has still not developed a good one. It's not achieved what it wants to do. It has still not developed a good one. Yes, yes, yes. So you have to, you know, propulsion is the key to any weaponry. Yes. Right. We lack jet engines. We lack naval conventional engines. It's important. It used to come from either Ukraine with the Zoria, which is destroyed now or GE. Okay. Right. INS Vikran is powered by GE engines, right? I see. So that, you know, even nuclear propulsion, naval nuclear propulsion is something which we have got from the Russians. Russians, yes. We have to develop our own stuff. Even our tanks are running on German engines. Okay. And what have we done with all the engine technologies and assembly that we have done? Why haven't we been able to build one? And despite, as far as the land forces go, despite us having a very good auto sector, right, is a robust auto sector. Focus, government funding, research and development. I think we can get there. It's all about, you know, having the right people guiding the right projects. You know, what happened in the last century where we had the Homi Baba's, the Raja Ramanas, the Vikram Sarabais, the Abhij Abdul Kalam's. Right. Get such people, let them guide the project. Give them the funds and resources. Fund and the free hand. Yes. The other thing that is a trick that we have missed out is, you know, hiring talent from anywhere. Right. Yes. Anywhere. Give them what they want. Bring them in. You know, the government can't do it because it wants that, you know, categories to be filled. Okay. You know, their HR policies, unaccountable people. You know, we did it once and it gave us results, right? In the 19... Code time. Code time. Right. Yes. Imagine so many people get them from anywhere. And they killed the bird. No, killing the bird is a different... I'm not saying project can be delivered. It is. Where we lack, go get the people. Yes. What stopped us from getting Russians? Yeah. Ukrainians? Yeah. Give them the money. Yeah. And, you know, scientists, engineers, technicians, machine operators, anything. You know, if you can't do it, get the private sector. Private sector will go chase all these people down from all over the world. But the government has to decide to do that. Right. It's imperative that we lack a lot of skills over here. Of course we do. Who gets those people? Right. China is doing it. China is doing it. They have so many programs, 1000 Thailand's program and whatnot. They steal. They steal. Titan reign. They go and get people from anywhere. Yes. They have been sending their people to the Western universities, learning about all kinds of things. So they have a focused... They have a proper focus on what they want, a 30 year plan, 50 year plan, maybe 100 year plan of where they want to be. I don't know about 50, 30, 100 year plan. They're very focused. They're very focused. We want to achieve this. You people go over there, learn and come back. Yeah. You know, our IITians will just go over there and make a good life over there. I don't judge that. I'm saying, but where is the incentive also for them to come back? Give them the incentive to come back. You have a job waiting for you, a high paying job and a good future. That's all it needs. Right. You have Indians working in Intel. Yeah. You have Indians working in, you know, all the Western... I mean, including the defense sector. Yes. Yeah. Give them back. Give them the incentive. Incentive. Yeah. Right. So we have GTRE over here, the Gas Turbine Research Establishment, which has been working on the Kaveri engine for, I don't know how many decades. Is it very badly underfunded? I mean, they have made no progress whatsoever. The output, the thrust of the engine is like half of what we need. No. No? We were nearly there. Nearly there. Really 70? How many? 72. 72. We were nearly there. We were nearly there. But we shelved the program. We shelved it. Yeah. I mean, internally, I think they're still running it. But officially the government, I think in 2016 or something decided that this program is over. I see. You can't get the programs. You have to fund it. You have to find it. It's going to fail a thousand times. No matter what happens with the GE deal. I mean, all good. We need to keep this program running. This program has to keep running. Because when the GE deal happens, you have your MSMEs learning small, small components, how to make those, what's the thought process behind it and things like that. It will help ultimately. Of course. Our next generation, forget the Kaveri. Maybe it will be Kaveri 2.0 or whatever. The next generation of engine that we will need. But our people have to learn, go, do things yourself because there are certain things that they will not teach you. Yes. We'll have to learn it. We have to figure it out. Yes. Especially the metallurgy. All that. Yeah. This is where we have to talk with our friends in the West. Teach us the metallurgy. Yes. Of the Russian stuff. Today we've spent billions of dollars in Russian spares. And which we don't have access to now because the Russians are not able to supply. What are the alternatives to making India over here? I mean that itself is a huge industry. Right. Spares, yes. Yeah. Start to learn the metallurgy. That's a reverse engineering. Go to speak with those people, their people over there, the academics, the scientists and whoever. Figure it all out. That can be a huge scope of, a huge area of cooperation between India and the US. Just figuring Russian technology and making it over here. Right. It will save us billions of dollars. And also save us the hassle of going to Russia. And there are sometimes inferior parts. Right. What do you think of the situation in Afghanistan? I mean recently, Amrula Saleh has alleged that the Americans are paying 60 million dollars a week to the Taliban. Do you think the Taliban are an independent entity or do you think they are somehow, they have backdoor channels open with the US? I'm sure they will have back channels. I mean Khalilzad, they are the US point man on Afghanistan who really sold the Afghans and put them under the bus. Yes. I'm sure they will have back channels. I'm sure India has back channels. I mean that's pretty obvious. We are not going to recognize them. That's another matter. Yes. But we have been supplying wheat. We have been supplying, we supply the vaccines, medicines, whatever. India is doing whatever it has been doing except for openly recognizing the Taliban. For India, the people to people contact is very important. India carries a lot of goodwill in Afghanistan. Yes, it does. So it's important that we maintain that. What is the situation, relationship between the Taliban and the Pakistanis? I mean there was this thought process, I mean there was this school of thought that said that the Taliban are still controlled by the ISI. Do you think that's true? Yes and no. Taliban wouldn't have survived without Pakistan. Taliban wouldn't have, you know, be without. Pakistan is the greatest. So obviously that will be there. But then when it comes to their own issues, I mean the Taliban will be as nationalistic about Afghanistan as they can because you see they don't recognize the durant line. Yes, that's a major issue. Pakistanis will never be able to get them to agree to that. So that will have their own but all that will keep running. It's better that they have problems over there than I have on our side of the border. Absolutely. Yeah, from their perspective it's good. Yes. That Pakistan has an issue on their border with Afghanistan. People keep asking about POK. What do you think? When will India take POK? I thought this might come up. Do nothing. Yeah. Do nothing. Yeah. Militarily it's going to be foolish. Why do we have to get into a war that will not give us the desired outcome? It's not just about the land. It's about the people. People, yes. Right. Secondly, it's going to cost us a lot. And our focus right now has to be on economy. You don't want to get dragged back by a war. I think we can get POK by the strength of our development. Right. When the differential today between India and Pakistan is 10x. In the next 30 years it will be a lot more. We hope, that's our aspiration, we hope we will be a developed economy in the next 25-30 years. Yes. And you will have enough incentives for those people over there on the other side to realize that this is where their interests lie. Bravado aside, it makes no sense. If anybody goes and asks an army general or chief of defense staff or anybody, what do you think you can do? Obviously they'll say, of course we can take it. I mean that's their job. Right. They cannot say, "No, you have to take it." But then there's sensational headline. Army commander says we'll take POK. If you go and ask him, do you have the capability? Obviously he's going to say yes. He cannot say no. It's a natural thing. But are we going to take it tomorrow? No. But even at the political leadership level, I mean for political purpose they will say, "I'm POK, I'm going to take it tomorrow." Okay. But it's not going to happen tomorrow. It's going to be extremely foolish to even attempt that. The terrain is horrible. All right. The terrain. Imagine how much it took for us to just fight the Kaggle war and take back just those heights back. Imagine you're talking about one third of Jammu and Kashmir. And that includes Ladakh. It's not bad of Ladakh. It can get Pakistan which is there. So yeah, thunder. Focus on development. Focus on development. Focus on development. Things will happen. Right. Because Pakistan economy is in shambles. It's not going to recover anytime soon. And even if it starts, it's going to be a long, drawn, slow process. It's not going to start. All right. Even if it starts. We will assume that they will start. I mean obviously they will have to come out of this rut, which they may. It is going to be a long time. Meanwhile, India will be far ahead. Yes, India will be far ahead. And we don't know what kind of inherent, you know, the internal troubles in Pakistan can lead to. Yes. It happened once. 50 years ago. Yes. It can happen again. That's right. So yeah, it's better to engineer it in some other way. If we ever do. Pakistan is doing a good job about itself. We don't need that. We don't need to. Yeah. They are doing a job well. Right. Imran Khan is doing a job well. What do you think of the India China situation? The undemarcated border. Do you think the Chinese do not want to ever demarcate the border between India and Tibet? No. It suits them very well, right? To keep it open. Yeah. The issue. That is why they have done it. Right. They have no interest. Not anymore now. They also realize that we are firmly against them. So there is no incentive for them to do that. And doing this pin-pricks or nauthu, it's pretty much an open situation over there. 50,000 troops. 50,000 on each side. On each side. Yes. With all our equipment. Yes. And you know, things can go wrong. Yes, things can. Yes. We don't want that to happen. But we cannot back down. Yes. We cannot give them a free run. Yes. But the situation, I mean, you can consider this. They were always our enemy. Yes. We finally realized because we were. And probably from a political perspective, it suited us fine to just keep talking about Pakistan, Pakistan, Pakistan. Pakistan was never our enemy number one. Number one, yes. China always was. Yes. China was always using Pakistan to, you know, keep us off balance. Yes. Keep us, you know, they gave them nuclear weapons, you know, supplied them with all the weapons. So Pakistan is the largest buy of Chinese weapons, right? More than 50% of Chinese weapons export these to Pakistan. Okay. And guess which is the second country. Which one? Bangladesh. Nice. Okay. So this is what China has been doing, right? Supplying to Bangladesh, supplying to Pakistan, supplying to Myanmar, trying to get bases all around India, you know, what they call it a string of pearls. They never wanted our eyes. They don't want our eyes. It's a no brainer. So we'll have to manage relations. It's never going to be those. No, it never was. It was us deluding ourselves using this term. How well entrenched is China in Tibet? How good are the positions defensive and offensive positions? Oh, I mean, they have one railway line. They have railway lines. They have road lines. They have everything. Xi Jinping took a ride right up to. Right north of our border, right? Yeah. It was, I think, what? In 2021 or 2022 or something, he came over there and he's making all kinds of statements. The infrastructure is very strong. They are continuously building it up. This border is live. It is live. All right. It is not going to. So it's like the OCization of LAC. So we are going to have our troops permanently over there. It's not like they're going to come back. It's a live border for us. The Chinese are the amount of infrastructure that they've built, the even facilities for their troops, equipment, everything. They're not going back from here. So they are there. We are here. But the thing is we are also taking steps now to strengthen our own infrastructure. Yes. With our deployments. Also our weapons acquisition now is moving towards precision guided stuff. So China can build all that infrastructure at once. It's a very hostile environment. It can be targeted. So if they build a bridge, we can take the bridge out. We can take the bridge out. We can take the railway lines out. The roads are winding down mountains, one hit somewhere and the road is blocked. So obviously this is what we are now going to throw our BrahMos missile for instance. One, second, we are looking at other missiles as well. Also some of our other equipment is targeted as taking out the infrastructure. The first, say two, three days of war will be hope doesn't happen. But if it happens, then these are all targets for us. And we're probably mapping it out with using satellite imagery and things like that. Right. What about Taiwan? What should India's position be on Taiwan? I think we want to kick the Taiwan question down the road for some more time. But I think we will have to take a call on Taiwan soon. In the sense, how do you maximize our interests? So Taiwan today has what we want. Fast manufacturing setup and it's just not semiconductors. Taiwan is a manufacturing powerhouse. It exports about 800 billion dollars worth of goods and it's just not semiconductors. It manufactures everything which is required for industries to work. I import Fasteners, I import from Taiwan. Fasteners is one. For example, they manufacture everything, valves, fittings, bearings, you name it, whatever is required for industry to work. They have it. So India's focus on Taiwan should not be just semiconductors, which is one aspect. But the Taiwanese can invest a lot in India in terms of a lot of other stuff that can be manufactured in India, which by the way is right now happening with Vietnam. So they are going from China, removing it out or maybe diversifying it and going to Vietnam. I see. We are losing it out. So we should welcome them with open arms actually. Roll out the red carpet. So how can this work? Give them the incentive and that can be in the strategic space. How we do it obviously will be left to our diplomats. So one of the ways can be to kind of announce, you know what, Taiwan is a good country to have in the health assembly, which was kicked out some years ago and it has been lobbying to get back in. So things like that, more visibility within India. Recently they have announced setting up of another office, Taiwan Cultural and Economic Centre in Mumbai. That is going to be the third, but that's coming after nearly 10 years. Maybe encourage more. I have an idea that you can invite the Taiwanese to open Taiwan or Chinese language centres all across India because we should be learning Chinese. We should be learning Chinese. Because I mean, this is where the balance of power is and we need to know what the Chinese are writing, what they are saying. We need more people to research that and understand what they are up to. So Taiwan can help us in that regard and that will help people to people contact. There will be more visibility for Taiwan over here. We have been taking incremental step, but very minute. I think India sent a representation to attend the President's inauguration. I think Minakshi Leiki, who attended with someone else. I think there was a member of parliament delegation as well. These are the small things. There are things that we can do, which are a subtle hint to Taiwan saying, you know what, we are going to push this to show that we are with you, but in return we want your investments. We don't want Taiwan to fall. Yeah, we don't want that. In my opinion, the worst case scenario for India will be Taiwan's peaceful unification with China. We don't want that to happen. China will get the entire might of Taiwan's industrial base, including advanced things like semiconductors and chips and its military power will remain intact. China's. China's. Yes. And it's India that's going to bear the brunt of that because their focus is off that East Coast and we will be the target. They will be able to realign the reorientables. That's the worst case scenario. I don't think we can kick the triad. What probably our assumption is that China is not going to war over Taiwan. We are not taking any positions. Our position is that status quo should be maintained. That's the standard line. Status quo should be maintained. So we are not then kind of neutral in that manner. We want status quo and that status quo should be kind of last forever because it just helps us. Yes. But if there is a war, I don't think India will be neutral. And our position will depend on when that war happens. So if it's tomorrow or next year, our position will be far different from what is going to be, say, five years from now, when our economic strength, our military capability will be far more. Yes. Our choices will depend on the relative power that we hold. So maybe we should start to give those political hints to Taiwan only to get more investment in them. In broad spectrum, they can do. I mean, you can have Taiwan industrial parks all over the country, get industry people all around, go talk together and see what you can do together and start to encourage your MSMEs. I mean, semiconductors requires billions and billions of dollars. Yes. It will employ, say, a few thousands of people. Yes. An entire MSME structure, manufacturing anything from pin to aeroplane will employ millions and millions of people who take care of our job problems. Right. So we should think on this. Right. Now, coming to the Ukraine war, what are some of the lessons that we in India can learn militarily from the Ukraine war? Is war being fought differently now in the 21st century than what it was in the 20th century? Don't go on a mission adventure. Don't overestimate your capabilities. Don't underestimate your enemy. So this is where it goes to your POK question, right? We don't know what can happen. No. Which are the powers that will come to the assistance of Pakistan and you get bogged down in a war that you can't come out of. So right now, you know, because Russia is so big, a nuclear power, Putin doesn't know how to come out of this. He can't because ultimately it's political survival for him as well. Yes. So he can't come out of it. He doesn't know what to do. So he's drawn into a stalemate and there is no off ramp and there is no incentive for Ukraine also to say, OK, by Bantkaro B because 20 percent of their country is still occupied by them. So this war will probably keep going on and on till someone thinks that he can't fight anymore. But remember this, that lesson from Afghan war. The people who are there have the ability to keep hounding you. Right. Because it is their land. Yes. So the cost for Russia is going to be immensely high and they have learned that from Afghanistan as well. Right. So how long they're going to go on with the Ukraine war? We don't know. If there was a political change in Russia, maybe it might end. But we can't say. OK. As long as Putin is there, this war will last. So one of the lessons is that in terms of technology, I mean, look at that. They're fighting with basic weapons, anti-armour, lots and hundreds of thousands of just shells. Shells. Right. Artillery. Artillery. That is what's been going on. The entire cities have been reduced to rubble. Yes. Bakhmuth is one example. Rubble. Yes. They are still fighting. But then, yes, the cyber aspects of it are always being. The biggest learning, I think, will be information warfare. And the Ukrainians have been at the top of the game. And it's a big lesson for India, which has always been below the game in terms of this information warfare. Zelensky has played it out well. He's been in that dress ever since. Ever since. Right. Going out and meeting people and getting sympathy. That is how he has kept Ukraine in the mind space of people. Otherwise, very easy to figure out how it would happen in Afghanistan. Okay. And people are out. It doesn't matter to them anymore. They're not bothered. But he has maintained that mind space, captured the mind space. And that has kept the funding coming, the weapons supply coming. It has not stopped Avengers recently. I mean, I think yesterday, the US announced another tranche of nearly $800 million. Cluster munitions. Cluster munitions. Incredible. India is not a signatory of cluster, banning cluster munitions. Good for us. So although it's a very bad weapon, I don't think it's in Ukraine's interest to use them. But it's their choice because, you know, all these cluster munitions will be there for years and years to come. And it's their people, their children who might end up suffering over a long period of time. So I mean, today they would see that as a matter of survival and want to use it because it's like a cheap weapon and they can just go and, you know, kind of carpet bomb the Russians. I mean, it's their war. I mean, I'm sure they would. Sitting outside, you'd say, no, it's not a good thing. Yeah. But it's their call. Yes. What about the use of missiles? The Russians must have used thousands of missiles in this war. Do you think India has sufficient missiles to fight along the long drawn out war? Against who? Against let's say China. Can it last too long? I wonder. Two nuclear powers. Two nuclear powers typically won't go into a long drawn out war. But let's say hypothetically something like that happens. Do we have sufficient missiles? No. We don't. We don't know. I have the inventory of it. So, you know, actually this question was asked, I think in parliament as to how many BrahMos missiles we have. Okay. The government refused to answer. Okay. It can be two things. You don't want to give away that you have a massive say inventory of missiles or you don't want to tell anybody that that kind of thing. Either way, you want to keep it ambiguous. It's just like with our nuclear weapons, right? Yes. I mean the West can assume 130, 170, whatever. Every year they come out with a revised figure which adds five to the previous one and that is where we are. But the government has never said anything. And it is one aspect that despite some of our other secrets that keep leaking to honey traps. This one has been very tightly controlled. Nobody has any ideas to how many nuclear weapons we have. Although I'm of the opinion that transparency will help. If it's 170, in my opinion, it's not enough. It's not enough. Yes. Especially with China ramping up its. China is. It's nuclear arsenal. It is. It targets to go to about 1000, 500. Yes. That's a lot because what will happen is that then there'll be nuclear coercion. Even though we have nuclear weapons, they'll be like, you know, now they will be thinking on the in terms of, you know, what will happen if China goes first, first strike. We'll have to take all that and keep all that in mind. So account for China's first strike, account for our own warhead and missile failure. Then also have something remaining. After we have used some. You don't want to get to that because if you have gone to a stage where you have to use some, you have already lost a lot of damage has happened. But still, that is how the calculation will work. Yes. We don't want to get into a nuclear warfare. We don't want to ever get no way. Yes. Prevent one. Yes. So we need lots of missiles. That's for sure. Yes. You need different kinds of missiles, not just we need precision guided weapons so that we can target Chinese infrastructure and, you know, stop their ability to wage war against India. And their infrastructure is at least 2000 kilometers away. Tibet is essentially empty, isn't it? That doesn't matter to us. What matters to us is what is immediately beyond our boundary, which is about 300, 400 kilometers from here. So all that rail lines leading in roads, their airfields, their helicopter ports and all that things are to build up. But in case the Chinese target Indian cities, let's say, we would want to make them feel the pain as well. So this is where we have a problem. That's what I'm saying. If China and the Chinese can do it with conventional munitions, right? Yes. They can rein in missiles on, say, Delhi. Yes. We don't have a counter to that because all of China's cities are on the Eastern border. Exactly. A lot of people say in India that we should have bombers. Strategic bombers. OK. How are you going to fight them to Beijing? Yeah, right. How would you reach Shanghai? Yeah. Chinese mainland? No way. They'll get shot down. The other way is ocean. It's too long. There are no long legs. It's just not going to happen. So this is a problematic area for us. So if China were to rein conventional missiles on Delhi, say, Calcutta, you know, any of our other things, what is going to be the counter to that? That's the question. India will have to think on its nuclear policy. We would need medium range to long range missiles. It will still not be sufficient. So then India will have to resort to the nuclear threat. We have to consider our nuclear doctrine in this regard. What if there is a mass conventional strike on our cities which kills thousands of people? Yes. How do you deter that? Exactly. We want to deter that. We don't want it to happen. We want to deter that. Yes. How can it be done? Because Chinese cities are so far away from our conventional capabilities. Yes, range. I mean, you can't, you know, we will require thousands of Agni-5s. It's expensive. It's expensive, very expensive. Yes. All right. And if Agni-5 flies from here, China will assume it's calculating the nuclear weapon. It might just. You don't know what it's carrying. I have to assume that. They might just assume it's a nuclear carrying, nuclear weapon carrying missile and they might act in that manner. So we don't want that to happen. We don't have option basically. The strategic bomber thing is just not, it's going to be a suicide mission. Whoever goes on a strategic bomber patrol or a strategic bomber mission will not come back. Because even if you go through South China Sea, that's their territory. Yeah, they have assets over there. They have assets over there. Yes. So that question has to be framed under a new. So it's something like we have done in the past, right? We decided that, you know, if anybody uses say chemical and biological weapons against us, because that is also weapons of mass destruction, then we will use nuclear weapons. We also said that we will not use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons state. There's a little bit of stuff that has happened. So we'll, you know, the nuclear doctrine was, is nearly 20 years old now. It came out in 2003. It's long since it, you know, it needs a relook. It does need a relook. It's considered a conventional, the current realities. I mean, Donald Trump went on to say that if there was a massive cyber attack on the US, which cripples US say infrastructure economy, it will go nuclear. Okay. He will use nuclear weapons. I mean, this is what the US has gone to. Right. So we, and, but the thing is for them, they already have a first strike doctrine. So they can say that, but we will have to kind of qualify our own doctrine. By the way, China does not buy a new, no first use, right? I mean, neither do we buy Chinese no first use. Although it remains, we don't consider nuclear weapons as a weapon of war. We do consider as a political weapon, but we will have to, you know, suitably revise it so that we don't suffer at the hands of Chinese because of their conventional might. Yes. Right. But that does not mean that we don't develop our conventional forces. I mean, if you look at the Pakistani thing, there is relying so much on the nuclear weapons to deter India that their conventional forces are not as it, that's the reason why they think that India's conventional forces are so superior to them now that they rely wholly on nuclear weapons. India should not get into that trap. Right. Indeed. Right. So you say, okay, by MR pass nuclear weapons, I pass TK. No, you'll end up, you know, how will you fight salami slicing? You're not going to fight nuclear weapons. The China will keep doing it. So we need to build up our conventional forces to make China understand that if they get into a shooting contest on the Himalayas, they will suffer a lot. Right. Yes. And for India's perspective, it is just like we have to hold a line. It's not that we have to go and conquer Tibet. Yes. Right. For China, like they have to occupy, you know, completely take like the, I can take Arunachal press. That is the victory for them. For us, victory is just holding them there. And we should have enough strength to do that. Right. And just to hold them there would also require some of our forces to be, you know, capable of going across. Indeed. Yes. Right. And we should have a table. Yeah. So we should develop those, we should not lose sight of conventional forces. Right. Do you think India is falling behind in hypersonics? The Chinese have gone way ahead. The Russians also have very good hypersonic weapons. What about India? We are behind in many things. But we are developing. We are developing a new version of BrahMos, which may be hypersonic, I guess. Yes, it is. That is one. We also have a hypersonic glide vehicle. A GV, okay. So we're doing that. We are behind, of course. But we have programs which are running. Who makes the BrahMos propulsion? Russia. Russia. There we go. So that's the problem. That's the problem. What do you think of the situation in Myanmar? It's kind of cloudy and vague. Who really controls Myanmar? Is it the Chinese now? No. It's the military. It's the military of the junta. It can play both sides. It has been doing it for a long time. Okay. For a while, we were against them and then when the Chinese started to make heavy inroads, then we decided, "No way, we are in the same place." And then we started having relations with them. Obviously the West does not like that. But then this is our region, our security, our neighborhood. So we'll have to deal with what is there. We must encourage democracy, of course. Because they've been killing people arbitrarily. That's what these dictatorships do. But obviously we need to have channels of communication over there and we are doing that. I don't think we have left them. In fact, the ASEAN has been more critical of Myanmar than India has been. I see. Let's talk about making India and Atmanir Bhabhath. How well is this initiative progressing, in your opinion? In the military domain or just in the... Let's talk about the military domain. A lot of talk. You know, slogans. But in terms of concrete policies, not as much. We have four lists, the positive indigenization list. Although indigenous equipment manufacturing has gone up. But to develop the next generation of stuff, you will require all that investment in R&D, getting the private sector involved. All that is required. It will obviously take a long time. But then what are the enabling factors that will help people set up factories in India? Okay, so let's mix both defense and civil. You require practically, lakhs of factories in India that is manufacturing everything. Yes. That will also help you get into the defense sector. For instance, a screw. It's required to make this chair. And an advanced version of such fasteners go into making aeroplanes. Yes. All right. Not the same compare, but ultimately in the broad spectrum, it's a fastener. We should be able to make entire spectrum of that. Just a basic example because I'm a nuts and bolts man. So there are many such things. If the entire industrial capability set up in India, it will help our military and vice versa. So to understand military technologies, we'll need a strong civilian industry base, which understands metal, which understands machining technologies, which understands building machines and things like that. It's a whole thing. That is how China came up. Use all our friendships, partnerships and get that capability over here. So that is how Atman Nirmar Bharat will come, where you're able to manufacture a lot of things. It is a requirement for us to generate jobs. I'm of the firm opinion that India rather generate these manufacturing jobs. We have rather have people know how to weld, to grind, do things rather than go out, put a bag and deliver. We don't want a country of million delivery boys. We want a country of million technicians, lathe machine operators, machine operators or whatever. This is generating the capabilities. Even in our defense sector, after we made the submarines in India, the AGW submarines, the entire skilled manpower was lost because the production line stopped. Something like that will happen with the scorpions. You're going to lose trained manpower unless the next iteration of orders don't come. This is how the government can support. What Indian industry don't think L1 all the time. What's L1? Lowest cost. Lowest cost. Right. Yes. Right. So don't think if there is an Indian company which can make something for 100 crores and if a competing version is 90 crores, go with the Indian one which is 100 crores. Incentivize those people who are ready to invest in manufacturing in India. We have great challenges in setting up manufacturing units in India. Such as? Regulatory. Everything, getting land, electricity, your pollution control, water supply, tax man, factory act. I mean, there was this paper in ORF. I think Mr. Gautam Chikaman had written that. There are about some 26000 laws which can attract jail terms or something like that. So all kinds of things which can attract jail terms. I see. All right. These are the kind of laws we have. Okay. You know, something as you know, not having your toilets painted can attract. So you know, this is, you know, nobody goes to jail for that. But the guy who is going to inspect that is going to extract money. So if you are in a highly competitive global environment where you're competing with China which produces things on the cheap, all these will add up to your costs and make you expensive. How are we going to get to the supermarket shelves of all the Western countries? So we need to streamline all that where it's just easy for everybody to manufacture and export. I mean, just to export is a pain. The documentation required to export. I see. If something goes here and there, if Emma, what I don't know, what will come and then you end up in trouble. So we need to cut down on these regulations. Regulations make it easy. I mean, you have to make it easy for everybody to do business. Come out, load taxes, make it easy to get capital today. So difficult for a small businessman to get capital. I see. I mean, despite mudra and all that, they will throw on your face, but please go try. Okay. It's difficult for small businessmen. How do you keep us collateral? Without collateral is not going to get that kind of funding. Most of our businesses in India, MSMEs are either proprietorship or partnership concerns. Okay. All right. Not companies, private limited and limited companies. What kind of taxes do they pay? 30 odd percent. How much do corporates pay? 15%. Wow. How are you going to incentivize small businesses to come up? And these small businesses, these proprietorship and partnership concerns funded from their own pockets or borrowed from friends, family. What is the incentive for them to reinvest in the business? Give them the incentive that required. Lower the taxes. Lower the taxes. Make it the same playing field. Oh, lower the taxes. These guys will invest in them and they'll employ. See if number of such small businesses come up, each employing said two people, employment generation. Yes. And then close lines that employment generation opportunities can't say create. And how do you incentivize that? Our babus can't think beyond squeezing the next rupee out or even chavani out of people. And then you lose chavani clear. You lose a rupaya. Yes. This is how these guys work. Just like your TCS nyanaya valani kalana. The new TCS on foreign. Oh, yes. And they just keep coming up with all kinds of things. But have a time. You want to tighten every possible way and then kind of create an entire wall itself. You just have to make it free. I mean, even we just spoke about internationalizing the rupee right or at least regionalization the reason. Yes. Open things up so that is easy to trade with us. We keep putting barriers, gay compliance, work compliance. Yes. You want to stop any terror funding and all that. You come up with that. That's fine. Yes. I mean, there are other countries also which are far more open and controlling the terror funds and things like that. So you come up with such things that makes it free and you're also securing the country as well. But you can't have so tight laws. I mean, then the role of rent seeking starts. It just makes it difficult to do business. And how easy or hard is it to acquire land to do business? I mean, normally, no problem. You will just go out and open a shop or something over there. But when you come to say industries, then it is, I mean, you will get, but it's very expensive. The government should think on the lines, gay, you know, how I can reduce how they can reduce the upfront investment for anybody who wants to invest in manufacturing. Come up with a leasing mechanism where, you know, as long as your factory is running, the land is yours. If not make way, let someone else come in. So say in Bangalore, if you want to say anywhere in the area, you want to say, you know, two, three thousand square feet of space and probably cost you two, three crores. Okay. So two, three crores can get you a lot of machinery to make things. So that will help make it easy to comply with things or rather reduce the compliance. So, what are the unnecessary compliance? So reduce all those compliances. Make it easy for people to manufacture. That primary job should be on manufacturing and going out and competing with China or anywhere in the rest of the world. Rather than sitting down, you know, JST compliance, the income tax complaint, the factory, the company, the company, you know, disproportionate time of people who run factories goes into a lot of non-productive work. We have to minimize that. I mean, eliminate that. It's required. So this make in India, Atma Nirbata will only come when it makes it easy for our own people to manufacture. Exactly. And that is where even they'll be able to go and get outside technology and come over here, right? Or even when the people from outside come over here, they should also find it very easy to come and set up business. I mean, you speak with anybody in the West or even the Taiwanese guys and they say, yeah, it's a little difficult to work over here. Is it very difficult for outsiders to come in and invest? Yeah. I mean, you know, ease of doing business is limited to how quickly you can open a company. Yes. That's the easier part. Baba, you have to run the business. That is the most difficult part. And that's when all the problems start. I see. I see. All the problems start from there. So make it easy. Reduce the tax. Your tax base will grow automatically. Your revenues also will come. The evasion happens when you have high taxes, even when there is evasion because that's an incentive for people to evade. Yes. Garib de shavai. Nobody likes to give away tax, but make it a, reduce the tax, b, make it easy to comply. Yes. Sometimes the compliance burden itself makes people evade tax or they might not even know how to, you know, they don't even know they're my evading tax because the rule book is so huge. Right. Where do you see India in 2050? India developed country. What sort of GDP? I guess about say about 30 or trillion dollars, hopefully. 30 trillion. So we are at 3.7 or so 30 trillion, almost 10 times by 2050. How do we make it happen? How do we grow 10 times in 20 years? Leverage our relationship to get investments, make it easier at home for people to do business, attract talent. One of the most critical thing is going to be our own education system. Educate that, you know, you're capable to, you know, do business, go out there and learn things, acquire knowledge and use that to grow businesses in India. So education is obviously the key. Health is also going to be very important. So you know, that is another one. And using all our partnerships to get investments, technologies, everything. This is our we are in a geopolitical sweet spot. We have to utilize that in the next 25, 30 years. So by say by the 100th year of our independence, we should be very close to our developed country status. And that should be our aim. I mean, the PM has laid it out. It should be our that's what how I see it as well. Right. At the age I am, probably till my time is up in the world, I should see India as a developed country. When was night time? Yes. Yes. I hope to see us there as well. Thank you so much for a wonderful conversation. Very interesting. Pleasure. Thank you. So that was the conversation. Hope you liked it. If you enjoyed this, please share this on WhatsApp and other media. Thank you very much.


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