a) Mr Praful Patel, Union Minister of Heavy Industry and Public Enterprises has pitched for incentivizing capital goods, particularly for exports to strengthen the manufacturing base in the country.
b) The minister was responding to a point raised by Mr Ajay S Shriram, Vice President, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to incentivize the capital goods exports, at the “National Conference on Emerging Opportunities for the Capital Goods Industry” organized by CII today in Delhi. Strengthening of manufacturing sector, particularly the capital goods sector, he said would bring down the heavy dependence on imports. “Look at the defence industry, where we have to import almost everything, which entail a huge outgo of resources. We have to develop such facilities domestically and it is possible given our raw material base and talented pool of technocrats,” he added.
c) Referring to the breakthrough achieved by the auto sector in developing the manufacturing base in the country, the minister said that now all major brands are manufactured in the country. The auto industry , he stressed, would grow further and give the much needed cushion to the manufacturing sector to grow further to achieve its potential.
d) Mr Patel observed that for the capital goods industry to grow, it is important to have a quality input and intermediate sector. In this regard, he referred to the need for uninterrupted power supply and quality inputs like steel. He hoped that installation of nuclear power plants, which are environmentally sound, would help meeting the huge power demands of the capital goods industry. Equally significant is empowering the Indian industry to manufacture all kinds of steel needed for the manufacturing sector, which is presently being imported in large quantities.
e) The Minister also underscored the need for India emerging as a manufacturing hub for capital goods industry not only for meeting the domestic demand but also for exports. Countries like China are giving utmost importance to exports of capital goods by giving attractive incentives. “Similarly, we have to evolve a holistic approach that should address the challenges of the industry. What is important is to dovetail the capabilities of both private and public sector to calibrate our maturing into a manufacturing hub,” he added.
f) Addressing the gathering, Mr OP Rawat, Secretary Department of Heavy Industry, Ministry of Heavy Industries and & Public Enterprises, Government of India, referred to the exercises being done by his department to give a boost to the capital goods industry. A proactive policy package is being drawn up and would be announced very soon, he added.
g) Exhorting the industry to opt for a cyclical model of manufacturing rather than depending on the linear model, which it was following, the Secretary observed that there should be sharp focus on R& D and innovation to make a dent in the capital goods industry. “The effective reflexes that are coming from various quarters should be transformed into tangible results in terms of innovation both for products and processes,” he added.
h) Mr Ajay Shriram, Vice President, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in his presentation, underscored three major steps to be taken to develop the capital goods industry. These included creation of manufacturing clusters in select areas, stress on capital goods exports and technology transfer and creating manpower for catering to the capital goods sector.
i) Elaborating further on these points, Mr Shriram said that special enclaves have to be created for capital goods manufacturing, which should have world class infrastructure and a strong supply chain for sourcing the raw materials and intermediate goods as also for lifting the manufactured goods to be supplied to various destinations. He also mentioned that certain thrust areas in capital goods sector should be identified for incentivizing for export purposes. In this regard, he mentioned that CII is drawing up various schemes that can help augment the capital goods production in the country but also its exports. He added that the growth of the capital goods sector should be well over 25 per cent to enable the GDP to grow 3 to 4 per cent over the present rate of growth.
j) The CII’s perspectives on the prospects and challenges of the capital goods industry were given by Mr S Unnikrishnan, Chairman, CII National Committee on Capital Goods Industry, Mr K V Venkataramanan, Chairman, CII Manufacturing Council and Mr B Prasada Rao, Chairman, CII Council of PSE’s. All emphasized the multiplier effect of capital goods sector in overall growth. While the issues and action agenda were well captured in the BCG-CII report ‘Capital Goods – A call for Action’, in their presentations, they have further stressed the need for uninterrupted power supply, availability of adequate and quality of inputs and funds, addressing SME specific issues, strong governmental support for boosting the sector and a creative and efficient private public partnership.
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