New Delhi, Dec 29 (IANS) Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Monday said that while foreign direct investment inflows into India rose by about a quarter in the April-October period, a number of challenges remained in making the country a global manufacturing hub.
“Still there are a number of challenges to make India a global manufacturing hub that need to be identified and there has to be an action plan to overcome this,” Sitharaman said here at a high-profile workshop on ‘Make in India’.
“We recognise that manufacturing requires infrastructure. Make in India aims to boost entrepreneurship in India,” she added.
FDI inflows increased 25 percent to $17.35 billion in the April-October period of the current fiscal. During April-October 2013, the country had received $13.82 billion on this account.
“A strong manufacturing sector has the potential to take our economic growth to a higher trajectory, provide jobs to our youth and fulfil their aspirations,” Sitharaman said.
“The cost of capital and, I think, in recent months or years, is one singular factor which has contributed to the slowdown of manufacturing growth itself,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said earlier at the workshop.
Industry’s pitch for rate cuts and economic reforms has become sharper with factory output registering a negative 4.2 percent growth during October as compared to last year, even as retail inflation eased to a historic low of 4.38 percent in November.
The Make in India campaign was launched by Prime Minister Modi Sep 25, promising the investors, domestic and overseas, an environment conducive to turn the country into a manufacturing hub and, in turn, create job opportunities for at least 100 million youths.
The 25 sectors identified for advancing the government’s Make in India programme are making presentations at the day-long workshop titled “Sectoral Perspectives and Initiatives” featuring ministers, industry representatives and state chief secretaries.
“Nothing of this scale has been attempted in the recent memory. This national workshop is aimed at getting industry and government on the same platform,” Sitharaman said.
A total of 18 sessions will be held on the 25 sectors, including chemicals, oil and gas, petrochemicals, capital goods, pharmaceutical, food processing, tourism, aviation, automobile, aerospace, defence production and skill development.
The sector-specific sessions at the workshop will prepare action plans for one and three years.
Representatives of Ford India, Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra & Mahindra, state-run enterprises, the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry are taking part in the workshop.