Make in India propels manufacturing, exports
PM Modi’s clarion call for a self-reliant India and emphasis on Aatmanirbhar Bharat have borne fruit
Circa 2014. September 25, 2014, to be precise. That’s when the story began. ‘Make in India’ was launched on that day, aiming to bring in investment, encourage innovation, facilitate world class infrastructure, and design India as an ideal hub for manufacturing, design and innovation.
It was also aimed to strengthen the local manufacturing and supply chains that carry maximum possible products and services on them. Not to forget that our country has a diverse product range, so the aim was to help India’s cause in this very diversity in which its products are unique and also have commercial viability.
They just required a little push, for which the time had come. Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan or Make in India was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion call for a self-reliant India. It has borne fruit.
Make in India was the good opportunity that gave direction to the efforts of start-ups and tech ecosystems to innovate, develop and promote homegrown goods. It also revived our local industries, indigenous industries, resources and entrepreneurs.
Just as India was focusing on and strengthening its own ‘Make In India’ capacities, the world came to a halt. The pandemic had hit. Yet making headlines during a catastrophe was India’s bold move and mission towards becoming self-reliant.
The mantra `Vocal for Local’ caught up and expanded to become `Local goes Global-Make in India for the world’. That’s exactly what India started doing. It started expanding its local manufacturing to meet the world. It succeeded.
Prime Minister Modi asked Indian exporters to take advantage of the new opportunities created by changes in the global supply chains in the post pandemic world. Urging Indian missions overseas to help develop new markets for Indian goods, he promised the government would work with the industry to boost exports. For expanding its exports in global trade, India needs to have “seamless and high-quality supply chain and low-cost logistics”, he said.
“This is the time for us to establish a new identity of quality and reliability. We have to try that there is a natural demand for high value- added products of India in every nook and corner of the world.”
The Prime Minister’s words fuelled new vigour, new confidence while underlining the readiness of the Government to redefine industrial policies to help ‘Ease of doing Business’. While recovering from a Covid-19 induced slowdown, PM Modi asked industries to look at ways to increase exports. PM Modi had in the previous year spelt out a strategy to boost export goods from India, a move aimed at lifting a sagging economy amid the outbreak of the pandemic. Towards this, the Prime Minister had said that there was a need for diversification of India’s export basket as well as identification of new products that could be exported and relevant markets for such items and strategies which needed to be prepared for that.
India geared up and prepared for the new identity it had to don. From `Make in India’ to `Make for the world’, India succeeded. The increase in domestic manufacturing capacity and competitiveness helped India’s exports grow at a record pace. And robust exports always boost economic growth.
Then the time came, India reached a high in exports. PM Modi in his ‘Mann ki Baat’ said, “For the first time ever, India’s merchandise exports have crossed $400 billion in a fiscal year.”
He also noted during his address, “Today our small entrepreneurs are playing a major role in government procurement through the government e-marketplace. A transparent system has been developed through technology.”
Revival of exports provided relief, while there were multiple factors that helped achieve this surge. One notable element was the much needed export basket diversification. Indian exports were also supported by several production linked incentive (PLI) schemes introduced in many sectors including mobile manufacturing, electronic and textile products. These proactive policy schemes by the government – such as merchandise export schemes, duty exemption scheme, export promotion capital goods, transport and marketing assistance scheme, have helped the export sector.
To ride on this resurging global growth, it was a stellar performance by some of the sectors. India exported rice worth $9.65 bn, the highest among agricultural commodities. Wheat exports also saw a rise of 288 per cent.
India’s textile and apparel exports (including handicrafts) achieved $44.4 billion in FY22 showing YoY increase of 41 per cent. Exports of readymade garments which included cotton accessories recorded $6.19 billion for Y22. With new agricultural reforms, cotton production in India is said to reach 7.2 million tonnes by 2030.
India exports inorganic and organic chemicals, tanning and dyes, agro chemicals, plastics, synthetic rubber, filaments, etc. In FY 2022-23, exports of chemicals and petroleum products stood at $ 8.24 billion. The export growth of chemicals has been achieved because of a surge in shipments of organic, inorganic chemicals, inorganic chemicals, agrochemicals, dyes and dye intermediates and specialty chemicals.
Pharmaceuticals consist of OTC medicines, generics, APIs, vaccines, biosimilars and Custom Research Manufacturing (CRM) as its key segments. Formulations and Biologics constituted a major portion of India’s exports with a share of 73.31 per cent followed by drug intermediaries and bulk drugs.
Iron and steel in FY 22: Exports of finished steel stood at 13.49 MT. India was the world’s second largest producer of crude steel, with an output of 10.14 MT in April 2022. The growth in the Indian steel sector has been driven by the domestic availability of raw materials such as iron ore and cost effective labour.
Several reform initiatives have been introduced to enhance the export potential of the Indian economy. India’s exports indeed put up an impressive show this fiscal.
Topping the export growth chart were the states of Odisha, Gujarat and Karnataka. Our states have also started playing a more active role on this front in the export sector. But they need to do a little more, for a holistic approach to boosting exports. The state governments need to become more proactive in creating the right business environment and facilities.
Infrastructure, industrial parks, adequate power and quick administrative processes are required to be in place at the state level. In a remarkable achievement, India’s exports of toys registered a tremendous growth of 636 per cent from the period of April –August 2022.
While the party has just begun with this outstanding accomplishment, India has targeted $1 trillion merchandise exports by 2030. The momentum has to continue. Fourteen products including pharma, electrical machinery, plastics, gems and jewelry, furniture and textiles are among the expected old hands, defense, digital and green are expected to be the new drivers.
The spark has been ignited; the exports are fueling the engine of growth that chugs on towards a prosperous future.
(The author is Mrs. Darshana Jardosh, Minister of State for Railways & Textiles)