VISIONLESS LEADERSHIP and corrupt governance are the reasons behind India being a rich nation with a poor population, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said in Mumbai on Saturday.
“We need an appropriate economic policy with which we can convert India into an economically strong country,” Gadkari said in an interview with Rajya Sabha member and entrepreneur Rajeev Chandrashekhar at the curtain raiser for E-summit, an annual flagship event of IIT-Powai’s E-cell, scheduled to take place on January 19 and 20.
Gadkari said he had faith in IIT students, as he believed that innovation, entrepreneurship, science and technology, research and skill-make knowledge, and conversion of knowledge into wealth is the future. He added that in the interest of democracy, there was a need for “qualitative leadership” in politics, who would be able to bring about socio-economic reforms.
Giving examples of several flyovers, including the Mumbai-Pune expressway, Gadkari said that he got them built at a time when he didn’t understand much about economy and civil engineering. “Yet I was able to do all this because of an inherent ability to take risks. For the flyover near Santacruz airport, I made a rule — those who would speed up the work by a day would get Rs1 lakh, and those who would delay it by a day would be fined Rs1.5 lakh,” he said.
“The basic principle being that those who do good work should be honoured and those who do bad work should be penalised,” he added.
Recalling Babasaheb Thackeray giving him a small acrylic sheet that read ‘I like people who can get things done’, Gadkari said: “Technology can be brought, resources can be accumulated but competent capable leadership can be developed through qualities.” He added that 1,400 new bills, notifications and rules have been implemented under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.