Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy has expressed his perspective on freebies, proposing a different approach where individuals availing government services and subsidies should contribute back to society for its improvement. He stressed that “nothing should be given free” and suggested tying conditions to subsidies, such as increased school attendance in exchange for free electricity.
Speaking at the 26th edition of Bengaluru Tech Summit 2023, Murthy clarified that while he is not against providing free services and subsidies, there should be expectations for recipients to take on responsibilities, especially in terms of education and betterment for future generations.
In addition to his views on freebies, Murthy advocated for capitalism, considering it the sole solution for a country like India to achieve prosperity. He highlighted the importance of higher taxation in developing countries to create efficient and corruption-free public goods. Despite acknowledging the need for increased taxation, Murthy emphasized the significance of compassionate capitalism over socialism and communism.
Murthy shared insights into his transformation from a strong leftist to a “determined compassionate capitalist.” He pointed out that India’s per capita GDP of USD 2,300 places it above what is classified as “low-income countries” but still far from being labeled a middle-income country. Compassionate capitalism, according to Murthy, is the key to India’s path to prosperity.
The tech veteran’s remarks at the summit shed light on his belief in aligning economic principles with social responsibility for the overall development of the country.