India needs factor market reforms in at least 12 champion states: NITI Aayog

Amitabh Kant of the NITI AAyog
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Speaking at a discussion on Fuelling India’s Growth Engine: Manufacturing,  Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog, said that India’s manufacturing must penetrate global markets, given that India’s market share in global exports is still low. The discussion was being held as part of the India Economic Summit organised jointly by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Delhi.

Kant added that factor market productivity is the key for competitiveness of Indian products and hoped that states would bring in reforms in land and labour markets. He said that India needs at least 12 champion states to usher in these reforms. He stressed that Indian companies need to push the limits on innovation in sectors such as defence, electronics and hardware.

Baba Kalyani, Chairman and Managing Director, Bharat Forge Limited, stated said that India is competitive in manufacturing with most skill sets widely available and raw material costs no different from the rest of the world. India needs better infrastructure rather than incentives, he felt. While the global environment has been a hurdle for exporters, Indian companies must meet the requirements of domestic markets so that imports can be reduced.

Kalyani felt that the Make in India brand has successfully established itself globally and it is only a matter of time before companies are able to convert it to an opportunity. In the defence sector, he said that Make in India would soon become a reality.

Johan C. Aurik, Global Managing Partner and Chairman of the Board, A.T. Kearney, USA, expressed optimism about India’s current economic conditions. He advised that rather than imitate China, India should produce for the domestic markets. Technology advances such as robotics and artificial intelligence are having a huge impact on manufacturing, he added.

Sanjeev Sharma, Managing Director, ABB India, is of the opinion that a robust eco-system exists in India and technology absorption is taking place at a rapid rate. With high-end software development and cutting-edge R&D, he is confidence about the cost of doing business.