The decisions taken in this year’s budget regarding ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’ and 'Make in India' are very important for both our industry and economy. The ‘Make in India’ campaign is also the need of 21st century India today and it also gives us an opportunity to demonstrate our potential to the world. If any country exports raw materials and imports manufactured goods made from the same raw materials, it will be a lose-lose situation. On the other hand, if a vast country like India remains only a market, then it will neither be able to progress, nor will it be able to provide opportunities to its younger generation. We have seen the disruption of the supply chain in this global pandemic.
And these days, we are especially seeing how the issue of the supply chain has shaken the economy of the entire world. When we analyse these negative issues, we should also look at other aspects. In the light of this, we find that when there is such a huge crisis and the situation turns for worse suddenly, the need for ‘Make in India’ becomes more apparent. On the other hand, we should see whether there are any positive elements that inspire us for ‘Make in India’.
Can we find the opportunity? You see, a country which has such a huge young generation and nobody in the world doubts their talent, which can develop skilled manpower as per the needs and has demographic dividend as well! And the world today is looking towards democratic values with a lot of urgency and hope. That is, it is such a capsule in itself. We have so many things with which we can dream big. Along with this, we are rich in profound natural wealth. We must make full use of it for ‘Make in India’.
Today the world is looking at India as a manufacturing powerhouse. Our manufacturing sector accounts for 15% of our GDP, but, 'Make in India' has infinite possibilities. We should work hard to build a robust manufacturing base in India. Be it the central government, state governments, private partnerships, corporate houses; how can we all work together for the country. We have to promote ‘Make in India’ for goods whose demand is increasing in the country today. Now there are two issues -- one to keep exports in mind and the second to meet India's requirements.
Let's suppose, we are not able to become competitive in the world, but we can provide quality materials according to the requirements of India so that India does not have to look to foreign countries. We can do this. Once I mentioned ‘zero defect, zero effect’ during my address from Red Fort. Our products should not be defective at all because quality matters in the competitive world. Today the world has become environmentally conscious. Therefore, zero effect on the environment and zero-defect are two such mantras that we can adapt to meet the challenges of quality and global warming. Similarly, there has been a tremendous revolution in the communication world due to changes in technology. For example, semiconductors! We have no option other than to become self-reliant in the field of semiconductors.
I believe there are new possibilities in this field for ‘Make in India’. We must be farsighted. It is also our requirement. Even from the point of the security of the country, it is more important for us to focus on this. Now people are getting attracted to electric vehicles in view of the environment, and its demand is also increasing. Can't India innovate in this field? Can't India manufacture these EVs? Can't Indian manufacturers play the lead role in this? I think we should move forward with the spirit of ‘Make in India’.
India is also dependent on imports for certain kinds of steel. What kind of situation is it where we first export our iron ore and then import quality steel from those countries? Can’t we make steel from the iron ore which is needed in the country? I think this is our duty also. What good are we doing to the country by selling iron ore to other countries? Therefore, I urge the people of the industry to come forward in this regard.
Indian manufacturers should see that the dependence of the country on foreign countries is minimized. Therefore, ‘Make in India’ is the need of the hour. Medical equipment is another sector. We procure essential medical equipment from outside. Can't we make medical equipment? I don't think it is such a difficult task. Our people have the potential to do it. Can we put emphasis on it? We should not be satisfied that all the necessary products are available in the market according to our needs. Many products which are available in the market are imported. And when Made-in-India products should be available, there should be a feeling among people that these products are better than the imported ones and we have to purchase them. We should create this situation and this difference should be visible. We have so many festivals here.
There is Holi, Ganeshotsav, Deepawali, etc. There is a huge market for many products during these festivals which also provide livelihood opportunities to small traders. But today foreign products rule there too. Earlier, our local manufacturers used to meet the demand for these products and in a much better way. Now with the changing times, things should be changed. We cannot live in the same old groove. And I want you to take the lead. When I reiterate ‘Vocal for Local’, some people have the misconception that ‘Vocal for Local’ means the purchase of earthen lamps during Deepawali only. I don’t mean lamps only. There are so many things around you. You just need to have a look. Those who are present in the seminar today should do one thing. You sit with your children and find out the products needed from morning till evening in your household and make a list of Indian products that you don’t use and buy foreign-made products. You will be surprised. Therefore, I want to bring the manufacturers on board in this regard.
Another issue is the branding of made-in-India products. Now I see, our companies advertise their products, but never ever mention ‘Make in India’. Why don’t you emphasize this when you advertise your products? Your products will be sold anyway, but there is a huge community that has a special attachment with the country. Think of it as a business strategy to encourage them. Take pride in the products your company makes and inspire people to be proud of them too. Your hard work is not in vain, you have so many good products. But come forward with courage and tell the people of our country that these products are from the soil of the country and have the fragrance of the sweat of our people. Connect with them emotionally. I wish common branding could also be considered in this regard. Both the government and the private players can develop such a good thing.
Our private sector will also have to find destinations for their products. We have to increase our investment in R&D and also emphasize upgrading to diversify the product portfolio. Now as you know that the year 2023 will be celebrated as the International Year of Millets all over the world. It is natural that people will be attracted to millets. Should it not be the dream of Indians that the country’s millets reach the dining table of the world? Our small farmers will bless us for this. There should be tests, proper packaging of millets and their exports. We can do this and I think we must do it. You can definitely succeed in it. We should develop our mills in advance by studying its market in the world and work for maximum production and its packaging. A lot of new possibilities have emerged with the opening of sectors such as mining, coal, defence, etc. Can we formulate any strategy for exports from these sectors? You must maintain global standards and compete globally as well.
Special attention has been given to this year’s budget to strengthen MSMEs through credit facilitation and upgrade of technology. The government has also announced a 6,000 crore rupee RAMP program for MSMEs. The budget has also focused on developing new railway logistics for farmers, large-scale industries and MSMEs. The integration of postal and railway networks will solve the problems of small enterprises and connectivity in remote areas. We have to develop innovative products in this field and your active contribution will be necessary in this regard also. The PM-DevINE scheme is also a part of the budget to promote the regional manufacturing ecosystem, especially for the North-East. But we can develop this model in different ways and in different regions of the country. The reform in the Special Economic Zone Act will give a great boost to our exports, and the ‘Make in India’ will be strengthened. Your suggestions as to what changes we can make in the functioning of our existing SEZs to increase exports would be valuable.
The impact of the continuous reforms is also visible. For example, PLI for large-scale electronics manufacturing! We have crossed production worth Rs one lakh crore in this targeted segment by December 2021. Many of our PLI schemes are currently in a very critical stage of implementation. Your suggestions will be helpful in speeding up their implementation.
Compliance burden has been a huge speed breaker in India's manufacturing journey. Last year itself, we abolished more than 25,000 compliances and started the system of auto-renewal of licenses. Similarly, digitization is also bringing speed and transparency to the regulatory framework. You can experience our development-friendly approach in setting up companies in every step from common SPICe Form to National Single Window System.
We need your maximum collaboration, innovation and research-based futuristic approach. I am sure that the brainstorming in this webinar will further strengthen the mission of ‘Make in India’. See, this webinar is a form of democracy, which has hardly got the attention of people. People's representatives should discuss the budget and take it forward. The government officials and political leadership should make programs according to the budget. I am discussing every aspect of the budget with all the stakeholders in the two months that we have after the presentation of the budget. I am seeking your suggestions and want your participation for the implementation of the budget from April 1.
I want to save time, which otherwise is wasted in the rotation of files for six months. You are well-versed in your field and you know that there will be so much benefit if done in the light of the budget proposals. You can offer good alternate practical suggestions. Today we are not discussing how the budget should be. Today we are discussing how to implement the budget. The focus of our discussions should be on the maximum outcome while implementing the budget in a simpler and more effective manner. This is not a webinar by the government to school you. This webinar is meant to learn and understand from you and that is why the entire government machinery is sitting here to listen to you. We have to plan how to implement our budget in the best way from April 1.
I have a request for people from the industry world. Can you take up a challenge that you will create such a situation within a year so that a particular product will not be imported? If there are 100 items that are imported, you will work to reduce two such items. Someone should take the challenge of three items. This way, the ‘Make in India’ will become successful. This should be our dream. I know a farmer who decided to grow vegetables like small tomatoes, onions and corn required in a five-star hotel.
He was not an educated farmer, but he worked hard. He took the help of the people and five-star hotels started taking vegetables from him. They also made money and the country also benefited. Can’t the people from the industry world do it? I would request you and this country has a right to you. We want your industry to be stronger to make India strong. We want your products to earn worldwide respect. Let’s decide and move forward together. That's why I have invited you. You have given your time and I expect this discussion to be very fruitful. I wish you the very best!