Indian industry leaders on Wednesday hailed the government's flagship 'Make in India' programme, saying the initiative is critical to the country's growth as it gives boost to manufacturing and generates employment.
The remarks from the industry leaders came after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley launched the 'Make in India' conference on the second day of his four-day visit to Australia.
The conference was one of the main event of Jaitley, who is accompanied by high-powered CII and FICCI delegations.
"The 'Make in India' conference that has been launched on Wednesday in Sydney is very critical and an important one," said CII Director-General Chandrajit Banerjee. "It is addressing few very significant areas - for example India is looking for strong leadership by building smart cities... one of the things we have done is to get certain consortium from certain countries like the US, Japan, Germany to come and see how they can explore smart cities opportunity here and contribute to India," he said.
Banerjee said he would like to see similar results from this conference, while pointing out the challenges of food and agro-processing sector. "These areas were now opened up and there was a huge opportunity for Australia," he said.
Arvind Thakur, CEO of NIIT Technologies Ltd, said that the 'Make in India' program was "a very big and a very important one as this would give the boost to the manufacturing sector." "The expectation is it should contribute at least 25 per cent of GDP and from that perspective its very important one," Thakur said.
It's also critical for generating employment in India - which has excellent demographic dividends, he said and lauded government's efforts on focussing on 'ease of doing business' for investors.
"Ease of doing business is perhaps most important direction that the country should be taking," Thakur said and stressed the need to focus on 'Digital India' program as well -- which would assist in automating and simplifying processes.
According to J Janakraj, CEO Adani Australia, the 'Make in India' initiative was a good step as it gives a perspective of what is available in India to the foreign investors.
Stating that the Australian mining service sector was a huge sector but is under severe pressure, Janakraj said a lot of Australian expertise can help India in various sectors.
"India is opening and growing and it opens up a very collaborative opportunity for areas of technology, training, mine development and exploration.
"Such conferences show the seriousness of India and present the opportunity to the world," he said.