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Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) & Road Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari on Friday today said that the government was likely to set up a multi-purpose R&D centre to reduce import dependence and promote the Make in India and Made in India initiatives.
Addressing an ‘Interactive Meeting of Industry Chambers & Business Associations’, organised by the industry chamber, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), in New Delhi, Gadkari said, “Industry can buy land and the government will support by providing technology and equipment.”
Gadkari added that the industry can tie-up with various Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and engineering colleges, especially those in agri-related equipment, to find solutions to various products being imported and manufacture them under the Make in India and Made in India campaigns.
“The government is ready to support you. Through this, we are looking at a multi-pronged development- development of the industry, new innovations to reduce cost, increase in productivity, and creating more employment opportunities,” he said.
Echoing the financial problems faced by the MSMEs, Gadkari assured of providing all possible support to the sector.
“I will discuss all the issues within my ministry and with all stakeholders to arrive at a unanimous decision. I will then take up these issues with the finance ministry. I am confident that with proper cooperation, coordination, and communication approach, we will achieve our goal,” he asserted.
Highlighting the issues related to liquidity, Gadkari said that India needed foreign investments, public-private investments and government support to increase demand and create liquidity.
“Majority of international investors are looking to shift to new alternatives and India can be the best destination for that,” he added.
Emphasising on the potential of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan, Gadkari said, “We are trying to develop models of industrial clusters in the country and offering to investors. This is the time that we need to reduce our imports, and this will create positivity in the industry.”
He said that the government was making a policy of setting up a social microfinance institution under which finance up to Rs 1 million will be available within three days to small traders.
“This will also create more employment potential and can contribute to our goal,” said Gadkari.
He also urged the industries to take up one underdeveloped city and develop it into a smart city. He assured government support through infrastructure development.
Gadkari further said that research and success stories from different countries can help guide the country in formulating new policies and urged the industry to accord priority to innovation and research.
Dr. Sangita Reddy, President, FICCI said that the Chamber supports the Government’s decision to promote the Atmanirbhar Bharat and Vocal for Local initiatives. “However, the import substitution in the country will have to be done in a calibrated way to ensure there is no disruption in the availability of raw material and intermediate goods,” she emphasised.
Dr. Reddy added that arranging finance was the biggest challenge for MSMEs today.