Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, during the Hero Mindmine Summit today, asked India Inc what's stopping them from investing heavily in manufacturing when foreign investors have shown their confidence in the country’s abilities to provide the right policies and support system.
The FM says a lot more companies are now moving out of China. "They want to come here because they find the policies are a lot more attractive, not just the PLI (Production Linked Incentive) scheme but overall the ecosystem here is far more facilitative of such companies," she says.
Speaking about how the country can propel itself to the 'developed' nation status in the next 25 years, the FM says countries now think India is the place to be right now. "But, I want to hear from Indian Inc. What's stopping you?
What is it that they are hesitant about? When countries and industries abroad are saying this (India) is the place to be right now, at this time. FTIs are coming, FPIs are coming, the stock market is confident...the retail investor believes in India."
She also adds that the government is committed to provide every possible help to the industry to invest in manufacturing in the country. She says that the Centre's policies like PLI and tax cuts are all aimed at helping the private sector.
"Also, no policy can be the end to itself. It's not as if we have given a solution and that's the end. It keeps evolving as we go on. That applies even to those industries, which are coming into the sunrise sector, that have got the policy support through incentives."
Drawing comparisons with the Hindu god Hanuman, the FM says: “Is it like Hanuman? You don't believe in your own capacity, in your own strength and there got to be someone standing next to you and say you are Hanuman, do it? Who is that person going to tell Hanuman? It can't certainly be the government."
She said the time has come for everyone to do their bit.
With the PM challenging the Indians to strive towards making the country a "developed" nation by 2047, the finance minister says the main driver would be engaging the youth in sectors, which have great potential.
"When you are planning for the Indian economy for the next 25 years, which we are calling Amrit Kaal, and the PM has highlighted the champion sectors will be the ones to start off, the first test litmus test would be how would it benefit the workforce," she adds.
The FM said that three-four years ago at Davos, everyone heard about industrial revolution 4.0, Web 3, IoT, and artificial intelligence. India in the 3-4 years has actually built its capacities on these, she says. “Today if India is showing the way on digital payments, digital influence into your medical practice, setting up of 75 digital derived centres of learning, setting up of 75 digital banks, the digitisation is happening even in areas like agriculture. So we have shown the way."