The Minister of Commerce & Industry, Piyush Goyal took centrestage at the ACMA’s 62nd Annual Convention, and issued a stern message to automotive companies who have been forcing their suppliers to import certain components which can be easily manufactured in India.
Expressing his concerns he urged auto component makers to report to the government if any OEM forced them to import certain parts which could easily be sourced locally. He said that the government understands business and has asked its missions globally to focus on three key parametres – trade, technology and tourism – and have been directed to support industry.
“Our missions will handle and support the industry. If you are having any problem, they are supposed to scout for opportunities to grow trade between India and that country. They are supposed to help you get modern better technologies and of course if tourism grows, it also grows opportunity for shared mobility, which will also get newer opportunities,” said Goyal.
He urged the auto industry to consider a five point agenda. “Firstly, let’s focus on quality, because that’s the only thing that will be of importance as we go forward”
Goyal said that obviously pricing was a natural element to be competitive but if the industry focussed on high quality products there was no way that the sector could not compete with the world. And if the industry didn’t focus on it the country will have to depend on imports for years to come.
“Secondly, we have to think holistically. There may be a component or two where we are not competitive and we should be willing to allow imports to come in but we have to have a larger vision.” The minister acknowledged the industry for demonstrating its vision and spirit of openess on free trade with developed nations.
“Those countries who have engaged with developed nations, who have engaged in free trade, have worked in the spirit of competition and have not been dependent only on government subsidies and policies. Other sectors are the industries which have succeeded in the long run and those countries have become developed countries in the last 30-50 years,” added Goyal.
He said that the companies need to go beyond thinking about themselves alone and think about the nation as a whole to define the success and growth.
The third are he said the industry needs to focus on is value addition in India, which is “going to be an important element of our growth story and I would urge each one of you to look at what are the areas where we can have greater value addition in India. Do we need to import the steel or can we buy the steel locally? Are we being pressurised by somebody to buy imported steel which is available in India. We need to reflect on all of these issues and be bold about it.”
The fourth point was not flood a market if it is uncompetitive, because there are lot of opportunities available out there where Indian companies can be competitive and if the industry will focus on scale in those markets there is a lot that can be achieved.
“Lastly let’s think big, let’s think scale, let’s be much much more optimistic and aggressive in our targets in our mission, our ambition. I am quite confident if all of you collectively decide that not only is it a good opportunity, not only is it going to be our collective effort the next 25 years that will define India’s future and we all have a duty to perform and make the country successful,” concluded Goyal.