Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday launched “Make in India” campaign with the aim of boosting country’s manufacturing sector and generating employment for a large number of youths joining the labour force every year.
“We must stress on two FDIs — First Develop India and Foreign Direct Investment. For Indians, FDI is a responsibility, it means to First Develop India, for global investors, FDI is an opportunity in the form of Foreign Direct Investment,” he said.
Incidentally, Modi’s programme launch came a day after the Supreme Court dealt a severe blow to the country’s manufacturing sector by cancelling 214 coal blocks, expected to worsen the country’s energy shortage condition.
The manufacturing sector’s growth came down to 2.7 per cent in 2011-12 and a meagre one per cent in 2013 from a high of 10 per cent between 2005-11. The share of manufacturing in country’s gross domestic product (GDP) is stagnant at 15 per cent for many years.
Simultaneously, with India, Chinese government too launched a “Made in China” campaign with a host of tax concessions to encourage Chinese enterprises to upgrade their equipment and increase research and development to improve manufacturing.
Though Modi did not announce any big-ticket measures to spur manufacturing, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government was bringing in a radical change in labour laws for the growth of the sector.
“With a view of providing flexibility in working hours, our government is amending a number of labour laws. We are fully committed to delicensing, deregulation and radical changes as we go along. We have an open mind,” she said.
Modi said India’s manufacturing sector needs to grow in a way that created jobs for millions of Indians entering the workforce every year.
“We need to enhance the purchasing power of Indians. We need to create jobs to move the poor to middle class bracket. Treat India as not just a market. See every Indian as an opportunity to increase their purchasing power,” Modi told a large audience of business conglomerates.
“We have to change the economic dynamics. We have to improve manufacturing in a fashion that benefits the poor,” he said as he asked the world to encash India’s democracy, demographic dividend and demand.
Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, Tata’s Cyrus Mistry, Wipro’s Azim Premji, Kumar Mangalam Birla, Maruti Suzuki’s Kenichi Ayukawa and Lockheed Martin’s Phil Shaw attended the function where the prime minister made an impassioned plea to industry not to leave India as the country was on its way to a major transformation.
Modi also referred to the Digital India mission, saying that it would ensure that government processes remain in tune with corporate processes.
On the eve of his US visit, Modi likened his make in India campaign with the West. He added one more dimension to Look East policy calling for Link West.The campaign was simultaneously launched in all state capitals and India’s missions abroad.