Industry lines up behind Modi’s pitch

“FDI should be understood as ‘First Develop India’ along with ‘Foreign Direct Investment”

September 26, 2014 03:39 am | Updated December 04, 2021 11:27 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launches the Make in India logo in New Delhi on Thursday. Photo: R. V. Moorthy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launches the Make in India logo in New Delhi on Thursday. Photo: R. V. Moorthy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ‘Make in India’ campaign at a high-profile event on Thursday, which captains of industry from India and abroad immediately joined by committing multi-crore investments and projects in the presence of Mr. Modi.

Speaking on the occasion, Aditya Birla Group chief Kumar Mangalam Birla said his steel-to-software conglomerate already had its manufacturing base in India and now planned to leverage its global production facilities for bringing technology here.

“We too are dreaming big and imagining bold as that is the only way to achieve the Prime Minister’s clarion call,” Mr. Birla said. He further said that at a time when India needed one million new jobs every month to fully harvest its demographic dividend, the Prime Minister’s call could not have been better timed.

The head of India’s largest private sector company, Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries (RIL), called the launch of the campaign a historic day for Indian industry and said, “We are committing ourselves to the movement our beloved Prime Minister had given to 1 billion Indians on Independence Day… The uniqueness of his leadership is that he dreams and he does.”

In the RIL pipeline, Mr. Ambani said, are Rs. 1,80,000 crore of investments and 1,25,000 new jobs over the next 12 to 15 months.

Unveiling the campaign logo earlier, Mr. Modi said “FDI should be understood as ‘First Develop India’ along with ‘Foreign Direct Investment’” while encouraging investors not to just look at India as merely a market but also as an opportunity.

The Prime Minister pointed out that it was crucial to increase the purchasing power of the common man to boost demand and thus spur development.

“The quicker people are pulled out of poverty and brought into the middle class, the more opportunity there will be for global business,” Mr. Modi said inviting global investors to set up cost-effective, high-technology manufacturing in India and at the same time create jobs.

Mr. Modi said he had detected pessimism in the business community over the past few years mainly due to lack of clarity on policy issues. He had even heard Indian businessmen say that they wanted to pack up and set up business elsewhere. This had hurt him and wanted no Indian business should feel a compulsion to leave India under any circumstances. But on the basis of the experience of the past few months, he could say that the gloom had lifted.

The Prime Minister also noted that India ranked low on the “ease of doing business” index and said he was sensitising government officials to the need for “effective” governance.

Increase purchasing power to boost growth: Modi

The launch of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship ‘Make in India’ campaign was simultaneous at the national, State and global level in Indian missions abroad. The ‘Make in India’ initiative has its origin in the Prime Minister’s Independence Day speech where he called for the initiative coupled with a ‘Zero Defect Zero Effect’ policy.

In his inaugural address, the Prime Minister pointed out that it was crucial to increase the purchasing power of the common man in order to boost demand and thus spur development. “The quicker people are pulled out of poverty and brought into the middle class, the more opportunity there will be for global business,” Mr. Modi said inviting global investors to set up cost-effective, high-technology manufacturing in India and at the same time create jobs.

Also speaking at the high-profile launch here, Bosch’s Executive Director Franz Hauber said the mood in India had turned positive after the new government took office and urged it to address the infrastructure issues, work to improve ease of doing business and set up quick single window approvals for investment projects. The change in the mood has created huge optimism for the German technology services company, he observed.

“Under the leadership of Mr. Modi we are greatly encouraged to join the ‘Make in India’ programme that brings together industry and government for crafting a new future,” said Tata Group Chairman Cyrus Mistry.

Wipro Chairman Azim Premji cautioned that it would be the “layers, details and mindsets” that will determine competitiveness of India as a manufacturing hub.

“The government is committed to chart out a new path wherein business entities are extended red carpet welcome in a spirit of active cooperation,” Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said earlier speaking at the launch. She assured that the government was closely looking into all regulatory processes with a view to making them simple and reducing the burden of compliance on investors.

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