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“We have got to evolve to systems where we can buy more in India”

GST is the most important thing. Ease of doing business is also a crucial area that has to be really tackled properly because our position globally on this aspect is very poor.
‘Make in India’ remains high on the PM Modi’s agenda. Jamshyd N Godrej, Chairman of Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Company Ltd shares his views on the challenges surrounding this initiative and the need for a conducive policy environment for investment while speaking with Subhajit Roy. He also touches upon the initiatives such as ‘single-window clearance’ and ‘Skill India’. 
‘Make in India’ continues to dominate the government’s agenda. Could you tell us about the challenges being faced in this initiative?The challenge for ‘Make in India’ is essentially the need of an infrastructure that supports manufacturing. Also the ease of doing business should be improved greatly so that the people who are in manufacturing can get into it – they can invest easily and quickly, they can manufacture their goods, sell and export them easily. I think the whole facilitation for manufacturing is very critical.
‘Making in India’ is well accepted in the industry. However, if we don’t promote ‘Buy from India’, how will the Indian industry prosper?If we look at the government’s purchasing policy today, almost all of it is being bought in India, except a few strategic industries like defence.
Do you think in the future defence sector will also open up?Defence is a complex issue; one cannot answer that question easily. It’s a matter of evolving. We have got to evolve to systems where we can buy more in India.
Can we expect a single-window clearance in India?I think it is more about political will, nothing else. It is not about any other thing. If the political will is basically to have this type of facilitation for industry, it can be done. There is nothing that prevents it from happening.
What’s your comment on ‘Skill India’ initiative?This is a crucial thing. We cannot promote employment of youth unless we have high levels of skill.
What is your opinion on the lack of advancement in the Indian manufacturing sector?There are many areas and gaps especially in defence and aerospace in terms of materials, processes, systems etc. So I think this certainly will get filled over time. However it depends on how the user industries like the defence forces express confidence of using the equipment ‘Made in India’.
Apart from GST, what are the other things Indian manufacturing sector needs?GST is the most important thing. Ease of doing business is also a crucial area that has to be really tackled properly because our position globally on this aspect is very poor.
Talking about the standardisation of the industry, is the Indian industry capable enough to meet the futuristic machine tools demands?The Indian industry, the Indian engineers and scientists are capable of doing anything. We have to create the right ecosystem for that to happen.

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