Skill building and job creation for the youth, be it in STEM, technology and innovation, or even in non-technical fields, are among the important factors that could help drive India’s economic growth ahead, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said today in conversation with industrialist Sunil Kant Munjal. “Engaging youth power by generating opportunities according to their skills be it innovative, STEM sciences, technological or even non technical, will be a key focus area for the government to ensure workforce participation is at its maximum,” Sitharaman said. Further, while Indian companies will have to become global leaders across sectors, MSMEs would get more government support.
The government will work on providing more solutions for MSMEs going forward, as locally, they are the ones to employ people across economic sections, Sitharaman said. India recently became the 5th largest economy, and the Finance Minister laid out the government’s plan for the next 25 years or ‘Amrit Kal’ in order to move the country further up the ladder. The government will do everything possible for global industries, companies to come invest in India, she added. India is showing they way on digital payments, health, education and agriculture. Going forward, greater digitisation will be a key impetus for economic growth, FM Sitharaman added.
While talking to Munjal, Chairman of Hero Enterprises, FM Sitharaman stressed on the fact that Indian companies will have to become global leaders across sectors for the Indian economy to grow. The government will work on providing more solutions for MSMEs going forward, as locally, they are the ones to employ people across economic sections. The government will do everything for the industry to invest in India and provide the schemes required, she said. Policies like PLI, tax cuts have been provided to support the private industry in India. “No policy can be the end in itself, we will keep updating them,” the Finance Minister added.
The litmus test for India in the next 25 years is to see how the country can benefit from its workforce, the minister said. “In the case of the PLI scheme, we looked at its impact on our labour force. We are looking for in situ solutions for MSMEs as locally they are the ones who train and employ. So the policy has necessarily underlined the importance of labour,” Sitharaman said.
The Union Finance Minister also highlighted that several companies moving out of China are now looking at India as an option as they are finding Indian policies such as FDI attractive. “Countries abroad think India is the place to be right now. FDIs and FPIs are coming. Retail investors believe in India,” she said and asked what is stopping India Inc and if it was a case of lack of self-belief. “When there is increased confidence amongst FDI, FPI putting in capital in India, Why is India Inc not understanding its immense capability? Indian companies need to show their prowess and make India a global leader,” Sitharaman added.
Government willing to listen to industry and act on inputs
“This is India’s time. The government is willing to listen to industry and act on inputs. I know I am in dangerous, land-mine ridden territory, but support to MSMEs isn’t all about what the government can do. Even big industry can help by making payment to MSMEs on time. I can only appeal to the industry, but MSMEs should get the payment due to them on time,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said. “Allowing trade settlement in rupees is not just some rupee-ruble mechanism. We are a lot more open economy now. We want digital platforms to become interoperable across economies for cross border transactions.