Photo: Nitin Gadkari/Twitter
Photo: Nitin Gadkari/Twitter

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday said India can emerge as a great destination for countries that are searching for new alternatives for imports and exhorted industry players to tap this golden opportunity.

In a bid to boost 'self-reliant India' endeavour, Gadkari urged industry bodies like FICCI to identify the sectors heavily reliant on imports, particularly from China, and look for substitutes towards indigenous production for export growth from India.

"All sectors are facing crucial problems in the present situation as COVID-19 has created many complications. However, one of the blessing in disguise is that majority stakeholders are keenly interested to shift to new alternatives (for sourcing required products) and India can be a great destination for it," Gadkari said while interacting with MSME Member bodies and sectorial associations of FICCI.

The Minister said China's 70 per cent of exports pertained to ten sectors and asked industry players to research on various sectors and come out with lists of probable industries where India can begin indigenous production and start exports.

Asking industry to study and research on products China exported, the Minister said industry players should also study the success stories of different nations including the success of micro finance model in Bangladesh.

He asked the industry to prepare a list of problems faced by them as far as finances were concerned and assured them to escalate these at proper platforms including at the Finance Ministry and Prime Minister's Office (PMO level.

"There are problems MSMEs are facing, financial institutions are in the crisis... Liquidity is a big problem. We need foreign investment, public private investment and government support," he said.

He also urged the industry to look beyond metropolises and developed cities to lay a network of industries and ventures in rural, far-flung and tribal areas which never grabbed attention and provided the example of Jamshedpur as to how just one industry could change of the face of the place and resulted in a smart city.

The minister informed that the government is working on a scheme for inclusion of smallest units under the MSME ambit and providing for their micro-financial requirements.

He also stressed the need for upgradation of technology by industry players and urged them to explore joint ventures to bring in foreign low cost capital.

The Minister also stressed the need for performance audit of the ventures saying that performance audit was on par with financial audit.

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