The domestic industry needs to find Swadeshi alternatives to Chinese imports, says Minister of Road Transport and Highways, and MSME Nitin Gadkari. He noted that India was importing a lot of things in the automobile sector from China.
To make India “aatmanirbhar” (self-reliant), Gadkari at FICCI’s annual meeting said the share of the manufacturing sector in the country’s GDP needs to be boosted to 30 per cent from the present 22 to 26 per cent. “Agriculture, on the other hand, needs to account for over 25 per cent of GDP as opposed to 14 to 16 per cent currently,” he said. “I am not a businessman or a business expert, but I am seeing a huge potential for electric cars, e-bikes, electric auto rickshaws and even trucks.
Gadkari urged the industry to look into products like magnets and lithium ion batteries that are being imported, and what is being produced domestically. “Whatever the thing which we are importing, we have to find out the Swadeshi alternative in the country without compromising on the quality and cost. That is exactly the main mission of Atmanirbhar Bharat,” he explained. “Hundreds of fields and sectors are there where we can find out this requirement.”
The minister also highlighted the need to reduce imports and increase exports to make India’s economy stronger. “We can increase our growth rate and we can even increase the manufacturing sector share in GDP from 22 to 30 per cent.” Gadkari said that for this there was a need to tap research institutes for innovative technologies.
He had earlier said that businesses have already reduced imports from China and India’s exports are flourishing. Gadkari had also said that despite the economic crisis, the MSMEs are doing an excellent job.