India, the world’s fifth-largest economy, has been showing signs of a strong recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that hit the country hard in 2020. Despite the challenges posed by the health crisis, India has maintained its focus on becoming a manufacturing powerhouse and enhancing its global position.
According to a recent book by Amitabh Kant, India’s G20 Sherpa, India has made remarkable progress in various sectors of business and enterprise in the last 75 years. The book, titled ‘Made in India: 75 Years of Business & Enterprise’, was launched by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who praised India’s achievements and aspirations.
Jaishankar also dismissed the notion that India should rely on services rather than manufacturing for its growth. He said, “I have always believed that this focus on services was actually an elegant excuse for being incompetent in manufacturing.”
He added that every major country in the world has built up its manufacturing sector to sustain or enhance its global position. He also warned against de-industrializing India in the name of opening the economy and globalizing.
He said that India should not allow other countries to subsidize their industries at the expense of India’s own manufacturers and businesses. He said that this would be economic suicide and that India should support its own producers and entrepreneurs.
India’s strategy of dealing with COVID-19 has also paid off, according to Ficci President Sangita Reddy. She said that India took the path of a strict lockdown to ramp up health infrastructure and save human lives.
She said that this strategy has resulted in better cures, more medical facilities, increased supplies of protective equipment and a lower death rate. She also noted that the initial green shoots of recovery have begun, as evidenced by various indicators such as PMI for manufacturing and services, e-way bill volumes, freight traffic, exports and GST collections.
She said that these trends are heartening and need to be sustained by further initiatives to boost demand. She asserted that India’s inherent economic strengths and resilience remain intact. She said that India has a large consumer market, progressive policies, major infrastructure development plans and significant headroom for growth.
She also highlighted the vibrancy of Indian entrepreneurs, the capabilities of its working class, the commitment of its farmers and the energy of its youthful population. She expressed confidence that India is capable of bouncing back and emerging stronger from this crisis. She said that it is time to take bold actions and push the growth agenda vigorously.