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NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant on making India a manufacturing hub

NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant on making India a manufacturing hub

Government needs to bring down the cost of logistics and reduce power tariffs for industrial use to make India a manufacturing hub over the next few years even as the production linked incentive scheme will help provide the much needed scale and size to manufacturing, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said.

“In India industrial users cross subsidies household users. As a result, industrial power tariffs are higher. We need radical power sector reforms to bring down the electricity cost,” he said, citing the example of union territories that have undertaken privatisation of discoms, thus setting an example for states to follow. This, he said, would bring efficiency in the functioning of discoms.

“Further, we need to use digital technology across transport sectors to bring down the cost of logistics,” he added.

Kant is of the view that the country must also embark on sustained and well planned urbanisation which is the next big driver of growth.

Speaking at a webinar series on the Road to Atmanirbhar Bharat, Kant said while the Centre has done a lot of reforms, the onus now lies on the states. “States need to push the next wave of reforms with five-six champion states taking the lead,” Kant said.

Talking about the big ticket reforms by the Centre, Kant said it is not easy to do reforms in India as we are a big democracy. “The government has used the crisis as an opportunity to unleash reforms,” he added. Modernising agriculture, de monopolising coal, liberalising the mining sector and transforming the defence and aviation sectors by liberalising the FDI regime in these sectors are some of the key reforms by the government.

Commenting on the Atma Nirbhar Bharat, Kant said it in no way implies protectionism or looking inwards. “The idea is to make India self-reliant to take on the world. The idea is to help India become important in the global supply chain,” he said.

According to Kant, the government support so far was across 90% product of lines and to 86% of exporters and yet India’s exports were not growing. “We need to create an ecosystem to enable private enterprises to thrive at the global platform,” Kant said.

“Focus behind the PLI scheme will play a major role in making India globally competitive and bring investments,” he added.

Commenting on the latest agricultural reforms by the Centre and the subsequent farmers agitation, Kant said the objective of current reforms is to give farmers the alternative choice to sell their produce. “Agriculture must get reformed. Mandis and MSPs will continue to stay but farmers will have to be given an option,” he added.

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