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Need to find swadeshi alternative for products imported into country, says Nitin Gadkari

Addressing a session at the 93rd FICCI annual convention, Gadkari said the government is ready to aid and facilitate industries to help the manufacturing sector.

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New Delhi: Union minister Nitin Gadkari Saturday said there was a need to find swadeshi (homegrown) alternative for products India currently imports, without compromising on their quality and costs. He also asked the captains of industries, who are the wealth creators, to also be employment generators.

“That is exactly the mission of Atmanirbhar Bharat,” the road transport, highways and MSME minister told business heads while addressing a session on ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat — Manufacturing’ at the 93rd annual convention of FICCI.

The minister, known for his plain talk, conceded that liquidity was a big problem in India today and the government has been trying to impress upon the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to use the Rs 9 lakh crore deposit it has for the people.

“The RBI has got Rs 9 lakh crore deposit, with the banks getting 2 per cent interest. We are trying. Prime Minister is telling them to use it for the people…Now financial institutions need liquidity in the market. Without that we can’t increase growth rate and without growth rate we cannot get capital investment. We cannot increase the employment potential. And without employment potential, we cannot eradicate poverty and without that we cannot make Atmanirbhar Bharat,” Gadkari said.

He also assured industry titans that the government was ready to aid and facilitate firms to help the manufacturing sector. Gadkari said due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the country’s economic situation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have taken over 100 decisions in different sectors, including in agriculture, food processing, etc.

“I feel the government is with you, we are open minded, we are ready to compromise. If anything is wrong from our side we are ready to change the policy, we are ready to cooperate,” he added.


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‘Need to push manufacturing sector growth to 30%’

Gadkari also called upon industry leaders to go into the details and find out the problems in the manufacturing sector, be it from government policies or any other issue, and reach out to the authorities for resolving these.

“….we are open minded. Any type of good suggestion from your side we are ready to sit with you, discuss with you. Our simple formula is convince me or convinced by me. If you convince us we will be happy to do it. We are transparent, time bound, result oriented and corruption free. Our request to you is to make the Indian economy globally strong,” the minister said.

He was hopeful that with positivity and self confidence, the country will win its fight against Covid-19 as well as the slump in the economy.

Gadkari also said the country’s GDP from the agriculture sector is 14 to 16 per cent, from manufacturing sector it is 22 to 26 per cent, and from the service sector 52 to 56 per cent. But there was a need to push the manufacturing sector’s growth up to 30 per cent, he added, and agriculture to more than 25 per cent for a self-reliant India.

Dwelling on the importance of agriculture and its allied activities, the minister said, “Currently, contribution in GDP from agriculture, rural and tribal sector, particularly the 115 aspirational districts, is very negligible. One of the reasons why our GDP is not exactly what we are expecting.”

Biofuel manufacturing

Gadkari also batted for biofuel manufacturing in India and said it has immense potential to give a big push to the country’s rural economy. “India can develop a biofuel economy of Rs 2 lakh crore with the right initiatives,” he said.

“We don’t have a place for storing rice. We have a stock of 280 lakh ton of rice from last three years. We can supply rice to the whole world. This is the time that we need to convert rice to bio ethanol. We can develop the industry of Rs 2 lakh crore in rural India by making biofuel,” he added.

The minister also pushed for the need to invest in innovation, research and technology to give a boost to the country’s manufacturing industry. “We should popularise our research and take it to the common man where common people can take advantage and develop many things.”


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2 COMMENTS

  1. No country can and even should attempt at substituting or manufacturing in the country all that it imports! It’s neither cost-effective nor any country has the capability/ scales of a size required that would make such a venture viable.

    It seems even those few ministers who used to speak in a voice independent of Prime Minister have also toe the line of the latter who first invented another slogan for ‘Made for/in India and terms used by earlier Govt’ by calling it ‘Atma-Nirbhar Bharat’, he is good at creating all kind of Acronyms and slogans, and people within and outside have since been parroting the same.

    Let’s have our heads over shoulders and not under the Saffron head gear!

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