Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday expressed disappointment over certain auto companies continuing to import even those components which can be qualitatively manufactured in India.
The minister also said he has been told that some Indian auto component manufacturers have been forced to sell their shareholding cheaply by automobile makers.
“One more concern that has been flagged off with me… if any of the auto component manufacturer is being pressurised by your parent company or by the company to whom you supply… to sell off your shareholding or to sell out cheap your own ownership in your company to the technology partner or to the ancillary of the main auto component (maker) …I have been told by some of you that this is happening in your industry…
“…it is extremely unfortunate that if any of our Indian promoters who have put in their sweat and blood to develop ancillary suppliers for the auto firms are forced out of their contribution or their partnership…I am told that this is prevailing in this industry…we would trying to know if there are any such instances,” he added.
He urged the industry to cut import dependence, focus on R&D, increase innovation, buy goods from domestic firms and be open for global competition.
“I am extremely disturbed to see some companies, who continue to be dependent on imports even for products where India has the ability to provide them good quality goods,” Goyal said while speaking at ACMA Aatmanirbhar Excellence Awards here.
Expressing concern, he also said some firms do not use high-quality Indian steel and instead rely on imports.
“I would urge ACMA (Automotive Component Manufacturers Association) to share with us more details of products where we have a competitive edge but companies are resisting to use your components,” he said.
The minister pointed out that continuous dependence on imports would make India an “assembly shop”.
He urged the industry to develop the entire mobility ecosystem in India, become global suppliers, and make the country self-sufficient in the sector.
“It’s time to open up markets, we can’t always be protective…look for greater penetration in global markets,” he said.
“The government has provided you significant protection, I think now for almost three decades. You have created world class products, you have a robust ecosystem in India, you have modern technologies that you are using in your industry and therefore I think it is the time to…open up,” the minister added.
He further said focus on areas like e-vehicles and hydrogen fuel cells would help India cut its huge dependence on oil, which puts a burden on the exchequer.
On exports, he said India’s outbound shipments have reached close to USD 390 billion as of March 14 this fiscal.