Piyush Goyal to industry bodies: Focus on quality and productivity

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November 25, 2020 3:45 AM

The meeting comes at a time when the government is undertaking reforms to boost domestic manufacturing under the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative.

Goyal said the economy is showing signs of a sustained recovery.

Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday called upon the industry to focus on improving the quality of products and raising productivity. Chairing a virtual meeting of the senior representatives of various industry associations, he asked them to brainstorm on ways to becoming “high-quality, efficient manufacturer, trader and service-provider”.

The meeting comes at a time when the government is undertaking reforms to boost domestic manufacturing under the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative. The share of manufacturing in the country’s GDP has remained at just about 16-17% over the past three decades.

As reported by FE, a concerted push to step up local manufacturing of quality products will be made, mainly through two schemes — production-linked incentives (PLI) and phased manufacturing plans (PMP). These schemes will not just help create extra capacities by luring large firms and cut imports but also improve exports substantially, a source had said. Elevated local output will not just help India cater for domestic demand but also boost exports.

Simultaneously, alarmed by the inflows of substandard products, the commerce and industry ministry is undertaking a drive to harden a crackdown on sub-standard products by formulating standards for 371 key products, in the first phase. Of these, technical regulations for 150 products have already been firmed up. Imports of these 150 products were to the tune of $47 billion in FY19. However, keeping with the principle of free and fair trade and to ensure domestic consumers have access to quality products, both Indian manufacturers and foreign suppliers will have to conform to the same standard specifications. While the move isn’t be Beijing-specific, it will hurt China the most, as it’s the biggest supplier of such low-grade products to India, trade analyats have said.

Goyal said the economy is showing signs of a sustained recovery. The results of major companies in the September quarter show that profitability of most of them has gone up, indicating that Indian industry has “utilized the Covid period to do the belt-tightening, improve the product-mix, and focus on quality and productivity”, he added. Tuesday’s meeting with the industry associations is the latest in a series of consultations held by the minister since the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic for necessary policy response.

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