Auto industry should boost local manufacturing, invest in research and increase exports: Nitin Gadkari

Several senior ministers of the Union government urged automakers to reduce their dependence on imports, increase exports, and make India a global manufacturing hub for automobiles and auto components at the annual conventions organized by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam) and the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA), held on 4-5 September.

“I request the auto industry to not depend on imports, develop import substitutes, and expand its export business. The government will support you in increasing production and boosting employment potential,” said Nitin Gadkari, the Union minister for road transport and highways, and micro, small and medium enterprises. Government is also planning to set up industrial clusters along the 12-lane, 1,400km Mumbai-Delhi expressway.  Gadkari said his ministry will take the responsibility for connectivity of the clusters to ports, railway stations and airports.

“The auto industry should reduce dependence on imports, specifically in areas such as steel, tyres, and electronic parts,” Union minister Piyush Goyal said. He also requested the industry to devise a viable model for setting up semiconductor fabrication units, which is the root component of the electronic chain.

He also mentioned that India is working towards a trade agreement with the  European Union for India to become a preferred supplier. “We are also considering a credit guarantee model to help exporters. Under the model, they may get insurance of up to 90% of their export value. The scheme should be finalized soon,” Goyal said. Along with these schemes the government is also considering hiking import on auto components and reducing goods and services tax for two- and three-wheelers to revive local demand.