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Want to make India a major electronic manufacturing hub: Ravi Shankar Prasad

‘Atmanirbhar Bharat or self-reliant India does not mean an isolated India’

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Last Updated: Jun 02, 2020, 08.42 PM IST
These three schemes are designed to fulfil the objective to make India’s capacity, supply chain and economy an asset to the global economy.
We have unleashed big schemes to show our genuine intent that India is the home to do business, says the Union Law & IT Minister.

You have launched these three massive programs to make India a big manufacturing hub. Rs 50,000 crore of incentives; you are talking of lakhs and lakhs of jobs. How confident are you that India will indeed be atmanirbhar when it comes to electronics and the preferred destination for manufacturing?
First of all, Atmanirbhar Bharat or self-reliant India does not mean an isolated India. It does not mean an inward looking India. It simply means an India with a powerful capacity building in place, an India where foreign funds are welcome and technology is welcome. But India’s human resource would leverage that to make India a manufacturing powerhouse as an asset not only for India but also for the global economy. That is briefly what Atmanirbhar Bharat is about.

When we talk of these big schemes, they are the defining moment in the history of manufacturing in India. And do not forget, Covid pandemic is yet to subside significantly and we are doing our best to control it and the deaths are the minimum as far as India is concerned. But we have unleashed this program to show our genuine intent that India is the home to do business and as national champion and domestic champion companies, we have to work together.

You asked how far you hope you will succeed in electronic manufacturing. If from 2014-15, from Rs 1,90,000 crore, we scaled up to Rs 4,58,000 crore in 2018-19, which is likely to cross Rs 50,0000 crore plus in 2019-20, then I have empirical evidence of performance. If from two mobile factories, we have crossed 200 and their value from 6 crore units to 30 crore units and from Rs 18,992 crore in 2014-15, we have reached Rs 1,70,000 crores in 2018-19, then we have done it even modestly.

Therefore, if that has been our past performance, surely this new giant initiative is bound to become a big success. You must recall the way India has emerged in the handling of Covid. The personality of Narendra Modi as a leader of stature and compassion and courage would surely become a great factor for drawing in India.

The empirical evidence is certainly on your side. This is also a defining moment when it comes to an opportunity for India to create supply chains and be an alternative to China and boost employment?
First, I must tell you Atmanirbhar Bharat is not against any country. It is only India-positive. Let’s be very clear about it. Yes, it will create employment because India’s human resource is competent and it will create employment because Indian employees are very dedicated and committed.

You have launched three major schemes when it comes to electronic manufacturing. It is something that the Modi government has been very committed to since 2014 and today has turned out to be the day when you have delivered on that.
I have been handling IT and electronics for close to six years and I am grateful to the Prime Minister for trusting me with the portfolio, apart from communication, law and justice. Digital India programme is designed to empower ordinary Indians in the power of technology. Electronic manufacturing, mobile phones, and strategic electronics are no more conventional electronics. It is also a part of the digital ecosystem and with that in view, when we started from a modest beginning of Rs 18,992 crore and 6 crore mobile phones, we have now reached Rs 1,70,000 crore and the same we have been able to do in overall electronics where we have been able to scale from Rs 1,90,000 crore to Rs 4,58,000 crore; close to Rs 5 lakh crore. We have given employment to nearly 20 lakh people.

Our scale is big, our ambition is high and we want India to become a huge centre of global manufacturing hubs designed to scale our capabilities. These three schemes are basically designed to fulfil the objective of scaling India’s capacity, supply chain and India’s economy becoming an asset to the global economy. That is how I see these three new schemes.

The empirical evidence proves that since the Modi government came into power, there has been a big focus when it comes to electronic manufacturing, particularly mobile phones. We are the world’s second largest hub now for the manufacturing of mobile phones. Can I read into the timing; the fact that these guidelines and three policies have been announced during Unlock India 1.0 and at a time when there is an opportunity for India to become an alternative to China to provide new supply solutions to the world?
My take is very simple. My take is that this programme of Aatmanirbhar Bharat is not against any country. It is only India-specific. Yes, companies coming who satisfy these guidelines and eligibility criteria are welcome. This particular guideline or the incentivisation process is industry-specific. You must keep this in mind and we are looking to the entire ecosystem in that connection only.

Our objective is to help India become a major electronic manufacturing hub. Therefore, we are encouraging mobile because five-six major companies are there. Then we are also encouraging the ecosystem for Indian companies. We also want Indian companies to become national champions and professionally competent, supplementing and complementing and also competing with the global manufacturing process.

We also want to raise their stature and come with all your ancillary manufacturers, then component manufacturing, from medical electronics to semiconductor to inside of the computers, mobile, and others. Therefore, there is a whole value chain which we are creating based on these three guidelines and incentives which we have announced for a huge sum of Rs 50,000 crore.

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