Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy said on Thursday that the Indian industry will have to work harder and smarter in the aftermath of the US decision to withdraw India’s name from Generalised System of Preferences (GSP).

The US government led by President Donald Trump expressed its “intent to terminate” trade benefits under GSP to India and Turkey.

“Best way to combat: we have to work harder and smarter; we have to be more disciplined and competitive. We can keep on blaming others but ultimate solution is to us becoming better,” Murthy was quoted as saying by ANI.

The 72-year-old IT industrialist added that the Indian industry will have to work harder for the sake of the soldiers of the country.

“Our industry should work hard to make ourselves stronger and pay more taxes so that our soldiers have better ammunition, better salaries, nutrition and they can take care of their families better,” he said.

Murthy reminded that he had expressed the same sentiments even in 2014.

To back his decision, US President Donald Trump on 5 March argued that New Delhi has failed to assure America of “equitable and reasonable” access to its markets.

The US programme, which started on 1 January 1976 under the Trade Act of 1974 (US), helps promote economic growth in 129 developing countries by allowing duty-free entry of up to 4,800 products into the US markets.

In 2017, India was the largest beneficiary of the program with $5.7 billion in imports to the US. Around 1900 Indian products from sectors such as chemicals and engineering are covered under the US GSP.

“I am taking this step because, after intensive engagement between the United States and the Government of India, I have determined that India has not assured the United States that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to the markets of India,” Trump said in his letter to Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.

“I will continue to assess whether the Government of India is providing equitable and reasonable access to its markets, in accordance with the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) eligibility criteria,” Trump said in his letter, a copy of which was released to the press.

New Delhi downplayed Trump’s move stating that most of the products that India ships to the US are out of the GSP purview.

“GSP withdrawal will not have a significant impact on India’s exports to the US. The benefits in the absolute sense and a percentage of trade involved are very minimal and moderate. India mainly exports raw materials and intermediate goods such as organic chemicals to the US”, Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan said in New Delhi.

Wadhwan stressed that India has very deep rooted ties with the US and all the issues in the trade domain are on the table for discussions.

The US has decided to terminate GSP in 60 days.