In a veiled attack on self-reliance programme 'Atma Nirbhar Bharat' proposed by PM Narendra Modi, former chief economic advisor Arvind Subramanian has called 'self-sufficient globalisation is almost an oxymoron'. Inaugurating CII's annual conference, PM Modi had exhorted the industry to find solutions for the future of our country and build robust local supply chains to push 'Made in India, Made for the World'. Prime Minister had emphasised that businesses should expand globally and that India would not be dependent on another country in strategic sectors.
"If we turn protectionist, I don't see how we can become a globally exporting power. There is some inconsistency between the two," says Subramanian. He says a lot of hard work is cut out for us as the international environment has become much more challenging. "I don't think we have any business believing that as a birthright we are entitled to 6 per cent growth right now," says Subramanian. India now faces multiple challenges: an economic challenge; a health challenge; humanitarian and migrants challenge; a strategic affairs challenge; centre-state relations challenge and a credibility of data challenge. Subramanian was speaking at a webinar organised by EY India.
Addressing the inaugural session of CII annual conference, Modi vowed to get India's growth back. He said his government was focused on long-term growth. The Prime Minister assured industry leaders of the government's full commitment to emerge from economic distress caused by the prolonged lockdown and coronavirus.
In his address, Modi said a self-reliant India would stand on five pillars - intent, inclusion, investment, infrastructure and innovation. In the past few weeks, Centre has announced a host of initiatives under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat plan. In agriculture, farmers are being committed the freedom to price their produce, freedom to stock, freedom to sell. Centre intends to bring about these changes in the APMC Act. In logistics, a technological upgrade. In power, a move to privatise distribution, rationalise tariffs and encourage renewable energy. In healthcare, to strengthen district-level facilities. Centre's move to change the definition of micro small and medium enterprises to permit higher investments in plant and machinery has been the industry's demand for a long time. Meanwhile, opening up of strategic sectors such as defence manufacturing will help domestic firms develop new capabilities. Opening up of coal mining for private sector and the move to set up drug parks to reduce dependence on imports will also go a long way in building domestic capabilities.