New Delhi — Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched the “Make in India” initiative with an aim to boost India’s manufacturing sector.
Addressing a gathering consisting of top global CEOs at an event in Vigyan Bhawan in the capital, the prime minister said FDI should be understood as “First Develop India” along with “Foreign Direct Investment”. He urged investors not to look at India merely as a market, but instead see it as an opportunity.
The prime minister said it was important that the purchasing power of the common man increased, as this would further boost demand, and thus spur development, in addition to benefiting investors. The faster people are pulled out of poverty and brought into the middle class, the more opportunity there will be for global business, the prime minister said. Therefore, he said, investors from abroad needed to create jobs. Cost effective manufacturing and a handsome buyer — one who has purchasing power — are both required, the prime minister said. More employment means more purchasing power, he added.
The prime minister said that India was the only country in the world which offered the unique combination of democracy, demography and demand. He said the new government was taking initiatives for skill development to ensure that skilled manpower was available for manufacturing. He also referred to the Digital India mission, saying this would ensure that government processes remained in tune with corporate processes.
The prime minister said he had felt a mood of gloom among India`s business community in the last few years due to lack of clarity on policy issues. He said he had heard even Indian businessmen say that they would leave India and set up business elsewhere. The prime minister said this hurt him, and added that no Indian business should feel a compulsion to leave the country under any circumstances. He said that he could say on the basis of the experience of the last few months that the pall of gloom had lifted.
The investor will not lose his money in India, the prime minister assured the packed house of industrialists. He said he has gathered from experience that a bussinessman does not invest merely for sops like tax breaks. An investor is attracted to a conducive atmosphere to conduct business, Modi said, adding that his government was ready to give to the market such a business environment.
The prime minister gave the example of the new government`s initiative on self-certification of documents, and said this was illustrative of how the new government trusted the citizens. The prime minister said trust was essential for investors to feel secure. Let us begin with trust; if there is an issue, government can intervene, he said. The prime minister said trust too could be a transformative force.
Narendra Modi said development and growth-oriented employment were the government`s responsibility.
The prime minister noted that India ranked low on the “ease of doing business” and added that he has sensitised government officials in this regard. He also emphasised the need for “effective” governance.
To the expression “Look East”, the prime minister added “Link West”, and said a global vision was essential. He said Mission Swachh Bharat and “waste to wealth” could lead to good revenue models for business as well. He referred to his vision of waste water management and solid waste management in 500 towns across India through public private partnership.
The prime minister also spoke of infrastructure of the future — including I-ways besides highways — and mentioned port-led development, optical fibre networks, gas grids and water grids.
The prime minister also unveiled the Make in India logo, and launched the website makeinindia.com.