Cant make in India before fixing processes: PM Narendra Modi

Written by fe Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Sep 26 2014, 06:38am hrs
Narendra ModiPrime Minister Narendra Modi, unveils the logo of 'Make in India' initiative in New Delhi. AP
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday launched the much-touted Make in India worldwide campaign, aimed at catapulting India into the centre stage of global manufacturing, in the presence of whos who of India Inc who pledged unqualified support.

Modi, who later departed to the US for a five-day visit, said the drive would be backed by necessary reforms to increase the competitiveness of Indian industry but stressed that restoring a broken trust between the government and industry due to policy uncertainties and CBI inquiries was the immediate challenge.

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The launch of the grand campaign was at a time when Indias already under-performing manufacturing sector, accounting for just 16% of GDP, is posting a negative growth rate (the sector had contracted 0.7% in FY14 and shrank 1.2% in the April-June quarter of 2014-15). The key reform measures needed, including a Goods and Services Tax (to reduce cascading of taxes in business to business (B2B) and comprehensive labour reforms, are yet to be implemented. Although steps are being taken to make governance more effective and investor-friendly at the centre and state levels, the results are yet to be fully visible on the ground.

India had fallen to a lowly 134th rank out of 189 countries this year (three down from 2013) in the World Banks Ease of Doing Business rankings.

Currently, it takes 12 procedures and 27 days to start business, 35 procedures and 168 days to get construction permits and 1420 days to enforce contracts in India. The aim is to take the share of manufacturing in the countrys GDP from a stagnant 15-16% currently to 25% by 2022 as stated in the National Manufacturing Policy as well as to create 100 million new jobs by 2022.

Modi sought to put things in context as he said while foreign direct investment (FDI) was welcome, it should be understood as First Develop India. He indicated that the government was more keen on long-term and employment generating foreign investment and not short-term capital that focuses only on quick gains. He said investors should not view the country merely as a market, but consider it as an opportunity to develop India by investing in manufacturing and other projects as well as creating jobs, in turn, increasing the peoples purchasing power to boost demand for their products.

Indian corporate leaders who attended the glittering ceremony at capitals Vigyan Bhavan included Mukesh Ambani, Cyrus Mistry, Kumar Mangalam Birla and Azim Premji. Lockheed Martins Phil Shaw and Maruti Suzukis Kenichi Ayukawa were also present.

With an eye on wooing US investors during his much-hyped tour, Modi added the term Link West to the expression of Look East (policy) and said a global vision was essential for the Make in India initiative to succeed. Admitting that it was not possible to attract investment by an invitation or through incentives, he said, The biggest issue is trust. The government will intervene only if it sees any deficiencies. We do not want any industrialist being forced to leave India. He said the biggest initiative his government has undertaken is allowing businesses to do self-certification, thereby placing trust in businesspersons.

Among the new initiatives are Digital India Mission for information highways, wealth from waste mission to recycle waste, gas and water grids that would complement nationwide electricity grid and an expansive optical fibre network.