The Indian Business Juggernaut has begun rolling mightily with Mumbai – India’s economic hub – witnessing a spate of states pitching for ushering in prosperity in the country and, especially in their home areas, through technological revolutions that have been ushered in by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government through initiatives like Make in India, Digital India, Skilling India, Swachh Bharat etc. The occasion was the “Make In India Week” that showcased the country’s different strengths in industry and economy through its various states where both Union Ministers and State Chief Ministers emphasised the need for unity in forward development using the country’s existing perennial natural resources that lay unused.
Describing Gujarat as “Investment Gateway of India,” Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel said that her government had announced policies pertaining to the Electronics, IT/ ITES, Textile Industry, Cottage Industry, Plastics industry, manufacturing and Tourism, MSME etc, besides other upcoming policies – including for Aerospace & Defense, Agro food processing and Smart Cities – that are Industry-friendly, and also changes made in many existing policies for ease of doing business in Gujarat. “We have formulated a few committees for the implementation of the MoUs, which I personally supervise”, she said while noting that presently, India has become the most-preferred destination for FDI. Stating that her government is promoting Gujarat’s MSME sector which is the backbone of economic growth, she said “We are setting up a Women’s Park for women entrepreneurs.”
“Gujarat is consistently among the top five FDI Recipients,” Arvind Agarwal, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Industry & Mines Department, Government of Gujarat, said that while declaring Gujarat as a power surplus state, with the presence of entire value chain in key sectors – Textiles, Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Engineering, Automotive – besides having enabled Infrastructure, Labour Peace and very competitive labour cost, availability of skilled manpower and effective handholding of investors.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das said his State is moving towards the No 1 position in Ease of Doing Business with its speed in realising its commitment of better infrastructure, faster development and establishment of industrial base for creating employment opportunities for millions of youth in the state. Unveiling the Jharkhand Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy 2016, he said the state boasts of having 40 per cent of India’s mineral wealth and – after being ranked no 3 by World Bank in the Ease of Doing Business in India – is ambitiously positioned to rapidly move towards the no 1 position.
Navin Jindal, Chairman, JSPL, said Jindal Steel and Power Ltd is investing in a new plant in Patratu in Jharkand. Rajesh Adani, Managing Director, Adani Group, said that the group is investing in coal mining projects, solar plants, Greenfield projects that will give employment to 8,000 to 10,000 people in Jharkhand. Prashant Ruia, the Promoter and Director, Essar Group, highlighted investments of Rs 5,500 crores in the state in its ancilliary industries and said that the BPO company – Aegis – employs 2000 people in Jamshedpur. Tulsi Tanti, CMD, Suzlon Energy, said that the company is investing in solar energy in the state, while T V
Narendran, MD, Tata Steel, pointed out that Tata steel has been in Jharkhand for 100 years and said that Make in India started in Jharkhand.
Meanwhile, noting that Andhra Pradesh is ranked number 2 by the World Bank in regard to ease of doing business, its Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu highlighted the state’s various advantages; geographical, tactical and infrastructural; while envisaging its path to prosperity at the Andhra Pradesh Investor Summit during the ongoing Make in India Week in Mumbai.
Noting that over last few years, India’s focus was on service-driven growth and that it is time to shift focus to manufacturing, he said a boom in manufacturing would also boost the Indian services sector. “In the Make in India campaign, the world is talking about the fourth Industrial revolution which will be driven by India and this signifies an integration of physical and digital world backed by data for production leading to fully automated value chains with flexibility for mass productions,” he said.
Urging investors and industries to tap Andhra Pradesh’s multi-advantages including long coastline, abundant mineral wealth, deep water ports having high graft, availability of water, effective linkage of rivers and harvesting rainwater, Naidu said several MOUs upto $68.6 billion had been signed as part of the “Sunrise AP Investors” meet. Alongside AP developing Industrial strength across various sectors of Agro and food processing, electronics, automobiles, biotechnology and textiles among others, he highlighted his vision for a “Greenfield” administrative, economic and entertainment capital for Amravati on the banks of the River Krishna.
Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Shipping, Road, Transport & Highways, while supporting the Andhra Pradesh development vision, emphasised the critical importance of water, transport, power and communication for any State’s development and noted plans to develop and build Amravati’s connectivity through eight lane roads, outer ring roads and express highways connecting Amravati to Hyderabad and Bangalore. Inland waterways would be the game changer in development of Industries by significantly bringing down logistic costs in India by almost 8-10 per cent where well-developed waterways could be used to transport materials, Gadkari said while mentioning plans to modernise the Buckingham canal (stretching 889 kms from Kakinada in East Godavari district to Puducherry) and noting that these waterways being a great strength for Andhra Pradesh for which the Rs 6000-crore profits from the Ports would be used for waterways modernisation. The Sagarmala project, alongside developing ports, would also seek to strengthen the fishing communities by providing them with modernised trawlers which will help them expand their livelihoods and business opportunities, he said.
Many initiatives including mechanisation, modernisation and capacity addition have already been undertaken in the Port sector with a massive investment of Rs 80,000 crore. Similarly an Indian Port Rail Company has been established with a thrust on rail road connectivity. He informed the participants that three new ports i.e. Vadhavan (Maharashtra) with draft of 18 mtrs, Sagar (West Bengal) with draft of 14.5 mtrs and Kolachel (Tamil Nadu) with draft of 18.5 mtrs are being developed. He said Inland Waterways are globally recognised as being: fuel efficient, cost effective and environment friendly mode of transport. On the Ganga river, the ministry is already building three multi-modal hubs at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Sahibganj in Jharkhand and Haldia in West Bengal.
Another important initiative has been to include Shipbuilding under the Infrastructure sector list which undoubtedly would give a boost to it. Work is also underway to use LNG as bunker fuel which would reduce the overall cost for the sector, he said while urging the private sector to join in developing Cruise Tourism, Light Houses and Islands, which would spur tourism in these important areas.
Stating that the food processing industry is going to “explode” in the next few years, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Union Minister for Food Processing Industries – while releasing a report on Make in India – Review of Food Processing Opportunities in India at a seminar in Mumbai – told delegates that India has the largest raw materials base, food production levels have quadrupled and we are a food secure country with potential to become the food factory for the world. Proposing allowing of FDI in multi-brand retail of food grown and processed in India to sell to India and the world, she said such FDI would not shut down the smaller mom and pop shops, but would reduce wastage of food worth Rs 92,000 crores and also help modernise the Indian farmer with newer and efficient farming technologies. Badal also highlighted recent efforts by the government to encourage greater innovations and enable the ease of doing business through cheaper credit, identifying priority sector lending status for foods grown in India and others.
“India can take its nascent levels of mere 10 per cent in food processing to the next level of 30 per cent. The 42 proposed food parks will significantly impact food processing levels,” she said while encouraging investors and industry to look abroad at the large expat population and the huge opportunities that lay with traditional foods both abroad and India. “The food processing sector in India contributes as much as 11 per cent and nine per cent of GDP in Agriculture and Manufacturing sectors respectively, besides being one of the largest industries in India, ranked 5th in terms of production, consumption, export and expected growth. Also, it is considered having huge potential for elevating agricultural economy, raising farmer’s income, generating employment and enhancing forex earnings,” she said while inviting industry to invest with innovative ideas and game changing thoughts to support the larger vision of providing cheap, affordable, healthy and nourishing food to Indians and the world. Piruz Khambata, Chairman, CII National Committee on Food Processing & Chairman & Managing Director, Rasna Private Limited, emphasised vast untapped scope in organic foods and need for terminal markets in food processing that would be key growth drivers of agricultural GDP. Noting the need to invest in agricultural infrastructure where the ‘local Mandis’ can be modernised, and citing popularity of Kiwi fruit from New Zealand, Rana Kapoor, MD & CEO, Yes Bank Ltd, suggested developing brand India through foods that have specific geographic appellations which provide for traceability and trust factors that help identify foods belonging to particular countries. “India has untapped opportunities in horticulture and floriculture that left a lot to be done to effectively leverage its geographical and seasonal advantages,” he added.
Renewable Energy too was in the limelight. Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of State for Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy, said in Mumbai recently that the big picture is that renewable energy has arrived in India and it is the future. Emphasising that a well drawn-out roadmap would help achieve the 175 gigawatt target by 2022, he said the framework both for financing renewable energy in the country and creating an enabling infrastructure for solar and wind has been developed. Highlighting the other thrust areas in the renewables sector, Goyal urged for a strong focus on hydro and biofuels.
“Biofuels should be given an extra thrust not only because they can help address the pollution issue in Delhi and generate income for the farmers, but also primarily because these can help the country reduce reliance on imports of petroleum products,” he said.
Detailing plans to scale up solar, Goyal said that in 2016, about 18 GW will be bid – out of which bidding has been completed for 4-5 GW – and another 8-9 GW capacity is likely to be awarded shortly, besides the Ministry’s efforts in working aggressively with state governments to ensure adequate transmission capacity and is looking to add another 25 solar parks.
Sharing some good news on the financing costs, Goyal said, “Both Rural Electrification Corporation and Power Finance Corporation are willing to fund credible borrowers at single digits. In addition, we are also exploring options on how we can engage with the World Bank, and evaluating if pension and insurance funds can invest in India.”