India Needs To Export More & Import Less: Nitin Gadkari
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“Indian micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) contribute 30 per cent of GDP and my target is to take it upto 40 per cent of GDP,” said Union minister Nitin Gadkari for Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises. The minister said the role of MSMEs is important in Indian economy as it generates employment opportunities and will help India to achieve Atmanirbhar Bharat.
While speaking at the Small Business Conference & Awards organised by Franchise India, the minister said MSMEs contribute 48 per cent of India’s total exports and the government is targeting to take it to 60 per cent. Till date, the sector has generated 11 crore employment opportunities and the government expects to add 5 crore more jobs in the next five years.
Stressing on the need for development of rural India, the minister said rural, agriculture, tribal and 114 aspirant districts are the government's top priority. He said India needs to develop good agriculture, agro-processing and fruit-vegetable processing industries. He added that India needs to create Khadi gram udyog, handloom, handicraft and village industries from raw materials available in rural and agricultural areas.
He said the government plans to develop jute and coir industries, and use it for construction of roads.
He said India has 650,000 villages and the country needs to think about them. “For development of smart villages, we need to have at least 2-3 industries in the village, which will also create employment opportunities,” he added.
He asked entrepreneurs to focus on rural areas while giving examples such as Levi’s using Khadi denims to manufacture jeans; and high-altitude honey from India is sold at INR 6,000 per kg on Amazon.com.
He said the government has made several interventions in the sector by increasing cash flows. The government has launched Champions portal to help MSMES in their operational problems. The government also plans to make a marketing portal like Amazon and Alibaba, which will create good market form MSMEs.
The government is also encouraging MSMEs entrepreneurs to manufacture products such as sensors, motors, computer display and other technologies.
He said India needs to reduce importing and increase exporting, and for that awareness has to be created among MSMEs entrepreneurs as Indian products have global acceptance.
He said conversion of knowledge to wealth is very crucial and for this reason the government will be privatising the 18 technical centres/tool rooms . The government aims to hand over these centres to successful industries, IITs and engineering colleges. He said the government has taken many reforms and out of which changing the definition of MSMEs was important. The government is funding greenfield expressways to further lower the logistics costs.
The minister added the government wants to use agriculture products to produce ethanol and bio-CNG which can be exported, are cost effective and pollution free. Currently, India imports fossil fuel of INR 8,00,000 crore and by next five year the country’s demand will go up by INR 18,00,000 crore.