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8 Years of “Make in India”: Boosting India’s Manufacturing Sector

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ASPA as an organization.

By Pooja Paswan
October 28, 2022

Make in India is an initiative by the Government of India to make and encourage companies to develop, manufacture and assemble products made in India and incentivize investments in manufacturing. The policy’s approach was to create a conducive environment for investments, develop a modern and efficient infrastructure and open up new sectors for foreign capital. The initiative targeted 25 economic sectors for job creation and skill enhancement, and aimed “to transform India into a global design and manufacturing export hub.”

Make in India” had three stated objectives:

  1. to increase the manufacturing sector’s growth rate to 12-14 percent per annum;
  2. to create 100 million additional manufacturing jobs in the economy by 2022;
  3. to ensure that the manufacturing sector’s contribution to GDP is increased to 25 percent by 2022 (later revised to 2025).

What is “Make in India”?

For years, policy-makers have been debating how to give an impetus to manufacturing in India and make India a Global Manufacturing Hub. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government launched the “Make in India” campaign to facilitate investment, foster innovation, enhance skill development, protect intellectual property and build best in class manufacturing infrastructure. “Make in India” is a major national program with a primary objective to attract investments from across the globe and strengthen India’s manufacturing sector. It is led by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and the Government of India. The “Make in India” program is very important for the economic growth of India as it aims to utilize the existing Indian talent base, creating additional employment opportunities and empowering the secondary and tertiary sectors. The program also aims to improve India’s rank on the Ease of Doing Business index by eliminating unnecessary laws and regulations, making bureaucratic processes easier, making the government more transparent, responsive and accountable.

The Make in India program focuses on 25 sectors. These include: automobiles, automobile components, aviation, biotechnology, chemicals, construction, defense manufacturing, electrical machinery, electronic systems, food processing, IT & BPM, leather, media and entertainment, mining, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, ports and shipping, railways, renewable energy, roads and highways, space, textile and garments, thermal power, tourism and hospitality and wellness.

What are we focusing upon?

The “Make in India” initiative is based on four pillars, which have been identified to give boost to entrepreneurship in India, not only in manufacturing but also other sectors. 

  1. New Processes: “Make in India” recognizes “ease of doing business” as the single most important factor to promote entrepreneurship. A number of initiatives have already been undertaken to ease the business environment. The aim is to de-license and de-regulate the industry during the entire life cycle of a business.
  • New Infrastructure: Availability of modern and facilitating infrastructure is a very important requirement for the growth of industry. Government intends to develop industrial corridors and smart cities to provide infrastructure based on state-of-the-art technology with modern high-speed communication and integrated logistic arrangements. Existing infrastructure is to be strengthened through the upgrading of infrastructure in industrial clusters. Innovation and research activities are supported through a fast paced registration system and in turn, infrastructure of Intellectual Property Rights registration set-up has also been upgraded. The requirement of skills for industry are to be identified along with further development of the workforce.
  • New Sectors: “Make in India” has identified 25 sectors in manufacturing, infrastructure and service activities and detailed information is being shared through an interactive web-portal and professionally developed brochures. FDI has opened up in Defense Production, Construction and Railway infrastructure in a big way.
  • New Mindset: Industry has grown accustomed to seeing Government as a regulator. “Make in India” intends to change this by shifting how Government interacts with industry. The Government will partner with industry in the economic development of the country. The approach will be that of a facilitator and not regulator.

The “Make in India” program was built on layers of collaborative efforts from Union Ministers, Secretaries to the Government of India, state governments, industry leaders and various knowledge partners. A National Workshop on sector specific industries in December 2014 brought Secretaries to the Government of India and industry leaders together to debate and formulate an action plan for the next three years, aimed at raising the contribution of the manufacturing sector to 25 percent of the GDP in the coming years.

In a short space of time, the obsolete and obstructive frameworks of the past have been dismantled and replaced with a transparent and user-friendly system that is helping drive investment, foster innovation, develop skills, protect IP and build best-in-class manufacturing infrastructure. The most striking indicator of progress is the unprecedented opening up of key sectors—including Railways, Defense, Insurance and Medical Devices—to dramatically higher levels of Foreign Direct Investment.

An array of measures focused on the ease of doing business in India have also been launched under the “Make India” program. Brand new, IT-driven application and tracking processes are replacing files and red tape. A number of new initiatives have been launched in order to streamline and rationalize licensing rules at the state government level, aligning them with global best practices.

From amendments in Labor laws to online filing of returns, from rationalization of the regulatory environment to increasing the validity of industrial licenses, a lot of changes have been ushered in to make “Make in India” a reality.

Author: Pooja Paswan is currently enrolled at the John.F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi, India. She has Ph. D in Public Administration and specializes in Public Policy. She was recipient of the ASPA 2019 Founders Fellow. She is currently the Book Review Editor at the International Journal of Public Administration IJPA and has worked extensively in the area of development administration and public policy. She can be reached at https://jmi.academia.edu/PoojaPaswan and [email protected]. Twitter @poojapaswan

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