Praful Patel, Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises addressed the National Conference on Emerging Opportunities for the Capital Goods Industry organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), here.
The minister said that strengthening of manufacturing sector, particularly the capital goods sector 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.
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.
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.
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.
Addressing the gathering, OP Rawat, Secretary, Department of Heavy Industry, Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, Government of India, referred to the exercises being done by the 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.
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.