"There are a number of sectors that have been identified in which India's competitive and comparative advantage over the other countries is seen. We have identified 12 sectors in which not only will India be 'Aatmanirbhar'," said Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal.
The government has identified 12 sectors, including auto components, textiles, industrial machinery and furniture, where focus would be given with a view to make India a self-reliant country and a global supplier, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on Thursday. He said a self-reliant India will ensure production of quality products on a large scale, fulfil India’s requirements and boost export of surplus production. “There are a number of sectors that have been identified in which India’s competitive and comparative advantage over the other countries is seen. We have identified 12 sectors in which not only will India be ‘Aatmanirbhar’ (self-reliant) but can also lead the global supply chain,” he said in a conversation with BJP leader Sambit Patra on steps being taken by the ministry to combat the COVID-19 crisis.
In these 12 sectors — food processing; organic farming; iron; aluminium and copper; agro chemicals; electronics; industrial machinery; furniture; leather and shoes; auto parts; textiles; and coveralls, masks, sanitisers and ventilators — India can become a global supplier, the minister said. “We will study these sectors in a focused way so that it can be manufactured in India in a competitive way…. Self-reliant India does not mean that we are getting isolated from the world,” he said adding that it will lead to increase in India’s share in global trade.
Talking specifically about the sectors, Goyal said organic farming holds huge demand and if farmers adopt this and increase production of crops like maize and corn, it can help in food security as well as making ethanol, which can be used to blend with oil, to cut India’s oil import bill. On iron ore, he said the industry can look at significantly increasing steel production from 100 million tonnes to 300 million tonnes.
India used to import electronic goods significantly but now, this industry here is progressing and making mobile and its parts, he said adding that “why can’t India make products like set-top boxes, solar power systems and telecom network products. We have studied this sector”. He also said huge potential is there in agro chemcials, pharma and APIs (active pharma ingredients).
Import of industrial machinery has flooded domestic markets, “Now, we want that India’s capital goods industry should stand again and we should import only those machines whose technology we do not have. We are not stopping imports…we want to be self-reliant,” the minister said.
Similarly, he said furniture is a Rs 20-lakh crore global market and out of this, the Indian industry can look at tapping Rs 3-4 lakh crore market as it can help generate employment for about 20-25 lakh people. “Our team is also working on the leather and shoes sector. Do we have to depend on imports for that?” he said adding that textiles and auto components also holds huge potential for industry.
Further, he said that due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown, industry has been impacted as work was not happening in factories. “We have studied these sectors, discussed with industry…which can make India self-reliant and a global power… In these sectors, we have competitive and comparative advantage… India can become a global production centre,” he added.