Panel aims to double manufacturing exports in 5 years, slash imports

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Updated: August 24, 2021 2:13 PM

India’s manufacturing exports stood at $229 billion in 2019 (before the pandemic), or 43% of its total — both merchandise and services — exports.

The focus of the new Foreign Trade Policy should, therefore, be obvious—the government needs to invest and promote investments in transport and logistics, rather than rely on ad hoc export promotion measures, which have failed to promote India’s exports.The focus of the new Foreign Trade Policy should, therefore, be obvious—the government needs to invest and promote investments in transport and logistics, rather than rely on ad hoc export promotion measures, which have failed to promote India’s exports.

A government-backed panel has firmed up a roadmap to double manufacturing exports over the next five years, reduce imports by two-thirds in select sectors and drive up annual domestic consumption growth to about 9% from roughly 7% in a normal year under the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative.

The Steering Committee for Advancing Local Value-Add and Exports (SCALE), a joint government and industry panel under former Mahindra & Mahindra managing director Pawan Goenka, has said that focus on these three critical factors would catalyse incremental domestic value addition of $350-380 billion over the next five years.

India’s manufacturing exports stood at $229 billion in 2019 (before the pandemic), or 43% of its total — both merchandise and services — exports. In contrast, manufacturing goods comprised 80% of the total exports of Vietnam, 70% of Malaysia and 56% of Thailand, according to the panel. Of course, India’s total exports of $533 billion were way ahead of these nations, since they are not major players in the services sector.

The SCALE committee is set up under the commerce and industry ministry.

The 13 production-linked incentive (PLI) schemes, with proposed incentives of almost `2 lakh crore over five years, will be a major driver of domestic manufacturing, it said. The panel was tasked with improving the growth of manufacturing sector, whose share in the GDP has remained stagnant at around 16% for decades now.

The panel has worked out action plans for 24 priority sectors. These include electronics, auto components, textiles, steel, aluminium, marine products, ready-to-eat and processed fruit & vegetable, agrochemicals, certain electric vehicles and integrated circuits, toys, furniture, ethanol, ceramics, set-top boxes, robotics, televisions, close-circuit cameras, drones, medical devices, sporting goods and gym equipment.

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