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Manufacturing growth only way to fill trade gap: DIPP

Growth in manufacturing sector is the only way to address the concerns of trade deficit, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Saurabh Chandra said Thursday.

"There is lot more talk about Current account deficit and trade deficit. So if you have to address the concerns of Current Account Deficit and trade deficit there is no option but to go for manufacturing," said Chandra, while addressing the FICCI's conference on 'Sustainable Manufacturing Growth Through Quality Systems' in New Delhi.

"We have a trade deficit of about $180 billon. There are countries which have trade surplus of that amount and of the top five countries which have trade surplus there are three manufacturing power houses – Germany, China and Japan. Other two are oil rich country," he added.

Chandra also said that to increase the contribution of manufacturing sector in the country's GDP and create lakhs of jobs, manufacturing should be high quality.

Chandra also underlined the need for greater focus on high-end technology, high standards of quality, depth in manufacturing, research, development and production.

He urged industry to set and adhere to mandatory quality norms that match international standards as also check the import of sub-standard items. This is vital as manufacturing is the core of the industrial economy and has the potential to create 100 million jobs and raise its contribution to GDP from 16 percent to 25 percent by 2025.

"The need of the hour is to incentivize and motivate companies to built products and provide services of highest standards," he added.

FICCI today announced its 'Quality Systems Excellence Awards for 2012' which were presented to manufacturers by Secretary DIPP. Quality Council of India was the Knowledge Partner for these awards.

"There is urgent need to allow Indian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to pickup global economic scale, which will make them globally competitive," Head - Corporate Affairs, Maruti Suzuki, Rahul Bharti said in his address.

He said, "The trade policy should encourage investments not imports. Allow Indian SMEs to achieve global economies of scale, which will make them globally competitive and give market access only against investment commitment in India. Keep high value-add products like cars out of EU FTA as they have a huge multiplier effect for economy, employment and capability."

He urged industry to take ownership for upgrading ITIs in the country, recommend curriculum changes to include 'Quality As a Way of Life' as a subject in Engineering /Science /Management education and set voluntary standards and keep raising the bar for performance, quality and customer satisfaction.

Sanjay Bhatia, Chairman, FICCI Manufacturing Committee & MD, Hindustan Tin Works Ltd., said, "Through these awards we are trying to achieve benchmarking within manufacturing. The effort is to motivate industry to achieve higher level standards in systems by benchmarking themselves with the best in industry."

"In order to have a more inclusive and sustainable growth it is imperative that our manufacturing sector grows at a rapid pace. The recent figures of IIP are highly disappointing as manufacturing sector barely managed to grow above 1% in 2012-13. It is the manufacturing sector which has lifted millions out of poverty in other emerging markets like China, Thailand and South Korea. Growth in manufacturing can provide employment to millions of our youth and also the large population shifting from agriculture to non-agriculture sector. Our demographic dividend cannot be reaped if manufacturing does not grow in this country," he emphasized.

Rohit Relan, Co-Chair, FICCI Manufacturing Committee & MD, Bharat Seats and Dr. A Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI, also addressed the inaugural session.