Sitharaman asks India Inc to focus on manufacturing, learn from startups

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NEW DELHI: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman urged Indian industry on Friday to focus on manufacturing and newer areas of the services sector. Additionally, she asserted that manufacturing industries can benefit from the “new energy of the startups“.
“It is necessary to strengthen our manufacturing sector and in that Indian startups have shown us the way by bringing more innovation. I would urge the industry to keep close watch on the innovations coming from the startups. The manufacturing sector can benefit from the new energy of the startups for all sectors including the sunrise sector,” Sitharaman said in her speech at the 95th convention and annual general meeting of industry lobby group Ficci.
The FM said the path of Indian industry is enriched by government policy, the startups, the frenetic speed with which innovations are happening, the rising number of patents and called upon Indian industry to seize the opportunity and scale up the new patents that are being filed.
The FM pointed to the uncertainties emerging on the global arena and urged Indian industry to focus on the opportunities that would arise against this backdrop. “As much you are preparing yourself for a long-drawn recession in the western world, in the developed world, I think it is also the best time for you to work out strategies for drawing those manufacturers from there to India,” said the FM.
“Even as they are headquartered there, it might be useful for them to think of sourcing many things from here and producing from here at least for markets in this part of the globe,” Sitharaman said.
The FM said she did not agree with suggestions that India should not be focusing on manufacturing-led growth like China.
“If there are voices suggesting that India should not be focusing on manufacturing but it should focus only on services, I am sorry, no. We should be focusing on manufacturing…we should be focusing on newer areas of services,” said Sitharaman. The government has taken several measures to attract investments in manufacturing, including the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, and the results are trickling in with several large companies such as Apple and telecom firms shifting some of their manufacturing to India.
FM also said the upcoming Budget to be unveiled in February will follow the spirit of earlier Budgets to prepare India for the next 25 years. “We are not only going to set the template which was set earlier but follow it and take it further for India’s next 25 years. In 2047, we look forward to our children living in India which will be far more developed,” said Sitharaman.

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