Make In India – A Reality Check

Launch of Make In India initiative in September 2014

Article by Tania Chatterjee

After coming to power in 2014, out of the many slogans raised by our honourable prime minister Mr. Narendra Modi, one that generated much cheer and enthusiasm among the Indian youths and entrepreneurs from across the world was the “Make in India” slogan. It’s been a initiative launched by Narendra Modi led BJP government on 25 September 2014 to encourage national as well as multinational companies to manufacture their products in India so that the country can become a global manufacturing hub.

The vision statement of official “Make In India” website, commits to achieve for the country among other things an increase in manufacturing sector growth to 12-14 % per annum over the medium term, increase in the share of manufacturing in the country’s Gross Domestic Product from 16% to 25% by 2022 and importantly to create 100 million additional jobs by 2022 in the manufacturing sector alone.

What more prudent time, than to have a reality check about the success of the “Make in India” initiative which will compete its three year in just 22 days?

In August 2014, just before the launch of the “Make In India” initiative, the Cabinet of India allowed 49% foreign direct investment (FDI) in the defence sector and 100% in railways infrastructure. The defence sector previously allowed 26% FDI and FDI was not allowed in railways. These two measures were primarily aimed to make the “Make In India” initiative the much needed launching pad for success.

The Parliament’s Standing Committee on Commerce led by BJP MP Bhupender Yadav has expressed deep concerns about manufacturing growth averaging just 1.6% in the five years till 2015-16 and a 0.5% contraction in the sector in the first 9 months of FY17, in a report tabled in Parliament this March.

Even as per the economic survey in 2015 only 1.35 lakh jobs were added in eight labour intensive sectors, compared to 9.3 lakh jobs that were added in 2011-12. Additionally, the economic survey (2016-17) also indicates a shift in the pattern of employment from permanent jobs to casual or contract employment. So , the wages, the employment stability and social security of workers are affected. In the last two years, a total of 25 start-ups have shut down such as Tinyowl, Dazo and Pappetap.

These above data’s puts serious question mark on the success of the “Make in India” initiative of Modi government. Any growth plan that is based purely on private companies and corporate houses who are more interested to achieve their extreme goal of maximum profit will hardly be able to solve the unemployment problem of India’s youth.

Sooner the government realises the fact that job creation of permanent nature, decent wages, social security will in turn increase the purchasing power of the people, which will lead to creation for demand of commodities and would provide the real wings for the manufacturing sector to fly high, better it will be and the “Make In India” initiative will be the sculptor of the growth of the Indian economy.

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