Govt to support MSMEs making ‘import substitute’ products; mulls policy for replacing foreign goods

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Updated: May 05, 2020 7:57 PM

Trade, import and export for MSMEs: MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari in multiple webinars during the lockdown period had urged the businesses to take advantage of the world’s ‘hatred’ towards China to attract foreign investment.

export industry, India’s imports had declined 9.12 per cent to 467.19 billion dollars for FY20 from the previous year.

Trade, import and export for MSMEs: The government is looking to introduce an import substitution policy to ‘replace foreign imports’ and boost domestic manufacturing in the wake of the current economic scenario due to Covid-19. Addressing the Association of Lady Entrepreneurs of India, MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari said that there is a need to focus on import substitution to replace foreign imports with domestic production. The minister urged industry members to focus on converting knowledge into wealth through innovation, entrepreneurship, science and technology, research skill and experiences.

“Of late there have been talks about import substitution because it is equally effective as export promotion in saving foreign/earning exchange and creating jobs. Covid-19 will certainly lead to increasing localization everywhere,” Ajay Sahai, CEO and DG, FIEO told Financial Express Online.

Earlier this year, the minister had said that the government is working on a scheme to promote businesses making import substitute products and helping the country save foreign exchange. India’s imports had declined 9.12 per cent to $467.19 billion for FY20 from the previous year, PTI had reported. The minister in multiple webinars with different industry bodies and associations during the lockdown period had urged the businesses to take advantage of the world’s ‘hatred’ towards China as companies are reportedly looking to exit China to attract foreign investments and businesses in India.

Also read: SIDBI to handhold MSMEs post Covid; set to launch all-in-one hub for everything small businesses need

“We should also look into huge dependence on imports and some of the single source of imports like China for pharmaceuticals, electricals etc. So if we are looking to investment policy, electronic hardware policy or import substitution, all will gel together,” Sahai added.

The minister had also urged overseas Indian students in countries including the UK, Canada, Singapore, Australia, European countries etc. invited to set-up new ventures in India with the government support through PPP or joint venture mode. The government would support students in getting necessary clearances for the ventures in three months. To ensure such clearances are given in three months, Gadkari had informed that a committee will be set-up towards attracting foreign investment. The entire process will be ensured for zero red-tapism, transparency, time-bound decision-making process and qualitative approach, he had said interaction with the members of the Chartered Accountant Association of India on Sunday.

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