Asserting that India was importing “a lot of things” from China, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Saturday urged the domestic industry to come up with Swadeshi alternatives to the imports from various nations without compromising with their quality and cost.
Addressing the annual meeting of Ficci virtually, the MSME and road transport minister highlighted the need to reduce imports and increase exports. He said this can help enhance economic growth and boost the contribution of domestic manufacturing to the GDP to up to 30 per cent.
Citing the example of magnets used in electric vehicles, he asked industry experts to study which parts are being imported by India.
“Now the magnet, there are a lot of things we are importing from China. I am not a businessman or a business expert but I am seeing a huge potential for electric cars, e-bikes, electric autorickshaws and even electric trucks,” said the minister.
He called upon business experts to deliberate with the domestic automotive industry, especially those engaged in manufacturing of electric vehicles, to find out what products are being imported, like magnets and lithium ion batteries.
“We should find out Swadeshi alternatives in the country without compromising with the quality and cost,” he added.
Highlighting the need for injecting liquidity into the market, he said: “I know that there are some problems. RBI has got Rs 9 lakh crore deposited by the banks, getting 2 per cent interest. That we are trying. The Prime Minister is telling them to use it for the people, finance it to the people”.
Gadkari said the government has sanctioned Flex engines which can function using 100 per cent ethanol or petrol. He called for developing cost effective and pollution free import substitutes, saying that the country presently has a Rs 8 lakh crore of crude oil import requirement.
“We can develop an industry of Rs 2 lakh crore in rural areas by making bio fuel,” he said.