The real challenge before the country is to substitute imported goods with domestic products like in the defence sector, Bharat Forge CMD Baba Kalyani today said.
“Like in defence, huge amount of imports is taking place and that’s only going to keep growing exponentially unless we do something,” he said here at the India Economic Summit, jointly organised by CII and WEF.
He said relaxing FDI norms in the defence sector is a welcome step but at the end of the day, India has to create an ecosystem to manufacture products locally.
Kalyani expressed hope that in 6 to 12 months, ‘Make in India’ in defence will be a reality.
The government has relaxed FDI norms in the defence sector to promote manufacturing.
“We need to make sure that whatever India consumes, we start producing, be it in defence or other sector,” he said adding that in the medium term, Indian industry needs to scale up dramatically.
He pointed out that in engineering products, India is highly competitive.
On exports, he said the problem is the volatility in global markets.
“Personally, I do not think you need incentives for exports. I think we are a competitive economy as far as exports are concerned,” he added.
M&M Executive Director Pawan Goenka seconded Kalyani’s views, however saying that the government needs to ensure that bilateral agreements do not hurt the domestic industry.
He also emphasised on the need to build Indian brands with the cooperation of both government and industry.
ABB India CEO and Managing Director Sanjeev Sharma said India should start using more high end technologies to give a boost to manufacturing.
Speaking at the session, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said states would have to work on land and labour related issues to push manufacturing.
He said a free trade agreement with the EU would help both the auto and textile sectors to get greater market access there.