India now a top choice for manufacturing investment, says CII President R Dinesh

R Dinesh, President of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Executive Chairman TVS Supply Chain Solutions shares his thoughts on India’s manufacturing journey over the last ten years, with businessline


What score on a scale of 1-5 will you give for NDA’s performance on manufacturing over last decade?

If you look at from the India context of manufacturing, I think we have done very well. Manufacturing is an important focus area for everyone. I don’t like to give scores. I would put it as a high level of achievement and visibility has happened. I don’t want to put any score to it .We have done very well in terms of not just focus on manufacturing, but taken steps to ensure India becomes integrated into global value chains and supply chains. That for me has been the big difference in last 3-4 years, becoming visible for global manufacturing and building capacity and capability in various areas. For me it is coming of age of manufacturing from the Indian context which has made the difference.


Which according to you have been the game changing initiative/ initiatives?

It is not just one initiative. They are several. First the focus was on Atmanirbhar -- it is not just about being self-reliant but it is building capacity to manufacture for the world. It has been well understood across the world that Atmanirbhar is not about protectionism but about building scale for making a big difference when it comes to the manufacturing sector. I would also say that focus on the cost of doing business has been a big initiative. It is a combination of the big cultural change of Aatmanirbhar coupled with cost of doing business and finally now in later part of year there is specific focus on targeted areas through PLI scheme and this support has placed India clearly as the destination of choice. People are coming to India for the domestic market. When they come in and they see India is cost competitive, they start using India as global hub. That is what has made the change from manufacturing perspective.


What is the unfinished agenda of manufacturing?

If I step back and look at it, the major steps have been taken at the central level and States too are looking at attracting investments. To me, further enhancing the reform agenda for supporting manufacturing are going to be land and labour -- this should also mean that States and Centre are really coming together and looking at this as a huge opportunity to create paradigm shift in manufacturing. I would call it more a continued focus and building a consensus from the States side to ensure that everybody are together from approach perspective. Improving cost of doing business is always a moving target. Here benchmark is various Asian countries. My expectation is next dispensation would deliver on both land and labour as part of big ticket structural reforms.

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