The dismal state of the manufacturing sector resounded even by committees set up at the behest of current BJP government and led by BJP MPs. Bhupender Yadav, BJP MP, who heads a committee acting as a watchdog of manufacturing sector has expressed concerns that average manufacturing growth is hovering around 1.6 percent in the five year period ending in 2015-16. In the first 9 months of the current year, there has been a contraction of 0.5 percent in the manufacturing growth.
The department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP), under the ministry of commerce and industry, in response to the report tabled in Parliament last week, defended the scenario with the list of measures that the government has taken for the promotion of manufacturing and easing of the business environment.
The Standing Committee of the Parliament on Commerce expressed concerns over the flat manufacturing growth despite the initiatives such as FDI reforms, Startup India and Make In India. These initiatives have been going on for last two years without any tangible results on the fortune of the manufacturing sector.
DIPP, however, claimed, “Make in India initiative aims to make India a hub for manufacturing, design and innovation… Startup India initiative aims to build a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation to drive sustainable economic growth and generate large scale employment opportunities.”
Committee endorsing the claims of DIPP, stressed, “However, it will serve better to remember that most of these initiatives are now more than two years old and the manufacturing growth has not yet gone to the desired level.”
These initiatives by the government will not work unless adequate infrastructure is in place that can match with China’s or the other developed nations or emerging economies. Little effort and initiatives have flown in developing the country’s infrastructure, and instead government has decided to fall back on rhetoric and promotions. The incumbent government should realize that promoters of manufacturing businesses are knowledgeable people who would weigh the options before deciding to start venture or fund projects. Empty rhetoric cannot take India far, although can influence a section of the population over short term with the hope that India will create manufacturing miracles.