Former Reserve Bank Governor C Rangarajan on Wednesday termed the Government’s flagship ‘Make in India’ programme as an “old idea”, and stressed on the need to have adequate infrastructure for it to succeed. “The idea of Make In India for India is an old idea. But what you really want is that environment provided in India is so good that others also come to India, make goods which are not only meant for India but also for the rest of the world,” Rangarajan said.
Rangarajan, who served as the chairman of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council in the UPA regime, added that there is a need for the “slogan” to be translated into action on the ground. “If Make In India is to succeed, the critical point is how good is our infrastructure, how cost effective as a country we are, and that is where our focus will be. The slogan has to be translated with effective infrastructure support,” he said, speaking at the Ahmedabad University.
Rangarajan also called for the government to address the slowing economic growth over the last few years, and said Make In India may be one way to do that. “India’s economic growth has slowed down. We had a growth rate averaging between 8-9 per cent in 6-7 years, and today we are talking about a growth rate of 7 per cent or 6.7 per cent, and that way our economic growth is slowing,” he said.
“We need to address this. Make In India is one aspect of that, mainly that you produce effectively to meet the needs of India. One important point here is that when you make goods for the world, you automatically become efficient and quality conscious,” he said.
He said that the Trump administration’s policies will impact India’s exports. “Yes, the kind of philosophy of Trump and others… will affect shrinkage of world trade, and exports from India will come down,” he said. Rangarajan, however, said the economic growth is not dependent on the exports as we have not adopted an “export-led” model for GDP expansion.