The logic that India can “leapfrog” China by focussing attention on software services instead of developing manufacturing capability was “a serious error of policy”, said Anand Mahindra, Chairman and Managing Director of Mahindra and Mahindra.

Speaking at the inaugural of two concurrent expositions, the Indian Manufacturing Show and the Electronics, Machinery, Mould and Auto parts (EMMA), Mr. Mahindra said manufacturing output in India accounted for only 15 per cent of national income, compared with more than 30 per cent in countries such as Thailand and China.

Mr. Mahindra said those in authority were only now recognising the need to change the policy, which had resulted in neglect of manufacturing for more than a decade. He pointed out that manufacturing activity had economy-wide linkages, which could result in not only more but also better jobs. “Manufacturing is the elixir for many of our economic and social woes,” he remarked.

More than 131 companies from Taiwan are participating in the four-day event. Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar assured investors that the government would protect their interests. Minister for Large and Medium Industries Murugesh R. Nirani said the share of manufacturing in Gross State Domestic Product should be increased from 17 per cent to 20 per cent in the next few years. He urged investors to participate in the project to build an industrial township spread over 2,000 acres near the airport at Devenahalli.