S Jaishankar, Union minister for external affairs, on Friday rooted for nurturing a competitive domestic industry, building more capabilities at home and being strong.
Jaishankar spoke about India’s contribution to the world by supplying vaccine across the globe to 74 countries. (File photo: IE)
S Jaishankar, Union minister for external affairs, on Friday rooted for nurturing a competitive domestic industry, building more capabilities at home and being strong. “The ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ approach of the government basically says self-reliant India. The first step in that is thinking it through for yourself, not necessarily letting others push you or pressurise you or intimidate your and standing up for your interest,” Jaishankar said said.
Commenting on the government’s Production-Linked Initiatives, Jaishankar said it was meant to encourage domestic production in an economy whose manufacturing has been increasingly hollowed partly by unfair competition and partly by wrong polices over the last 25 years. There was a huge potential to manufacture, but it was not fostered by the right policies at home. The government would look at supporting industry, especially MSMEs, create incentives for shoring manufacturing in India and attracting foreign investment into India, the minister said.
Responding to a query on reducing the country’s dependence on China, he said, the Chinese walked in because the country opened its doors in conditions that were advantageous to them, he said. While being open was good, the country was to blame as it did not do it with proper preparations and understanding. In the last 25 years, only the big companies benefited and MSMEs got a raw deal, Jaishankar said. So, the government would bat for MSMEs and stand up for them, he said. Jaishankar was speaking at the inaugural session on ‘Resilient Global Growth in a Post-Pandemic World’ at the Asia Economic Dialogue 2021 organised by the ministry of external affairs and the Pune International Centre.
Going back to 1992 was not the answer and openness by itself was not a solution, he pointed out. The litmus test of good governance was employment and having a jobless growth was not a great testimony to policies of any country, he said.
During the pandemic, India undertook deep reforms so the Covid period was not just a health response, but the government also rolled out new policies to push through much needed reforms in agriculture, labour and education, which previous governments were reluctant to address. Just like the 1991-92 period, twenty years down the road people will say that Budget 2021 was the turning point, Jaishankar said.
Jaishankar spoke about India’s contribution to the world by supplying vaccine across the globe to 74 countries. India has already supplied vaccines to 31 countries till date and supplies to 43 countries are in the pipeline. The Union minister spoke of the initiative India had embarked on with Japan and Australia, among others, like the Quad, which are all part of a changing world. The Quad is the quadrilateral security framework involving Australia, India, Japan and US.
Marise Payne, minister of foreign affairs, government of Australia, spoke about leaders across countries being preoccupied with resilience of supply chains and many minilateral groupings springing up during the pandemic challenge. Australia was working towards resilience of supply chains through the Quad and trilateral undertakings to ensure using open markets and rule based trade for promoting and protecting resilient global supply chains, Payne said. On the two-way trade flows between India and Australia, she said it had doubled from 2014 to 2019-2020, India was Australia’s six largest export market almost valued at $37 billion. The comprehensive partnership between India and Australia was a game changer and had elevated the relationship to another level, she added.