Make in India week: Will $222 billion pledges turn real?

Make in India week

The high-visibility Make in India’ week event, held last week in Mumbai, has attracted mammoth investment commitments worth $222 billion, a staggering figure that has the potential to transform the country’s infrastructure and manufacturing landscape.

“Investment commitments had reached Rs 15.2 trillion ($222 billion) and we expect 80-85 per cent of the pledges to convert into serious business, most of which are from foreign investors,” says Amitabh Kant, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).

The total amount pledged for ‘Make in India’ is almost three times of the Foreign Direct Investment India has attracted since the Modi government assumed office in May 2014. According to the data by Reserve Bank of India, FDI has increased 33% to $64 billion from the previous 20 months.

On the World Bank’s Doing Business Index, India still ranks 130 of 180 economies, which Modi government hoped to make it to the top 50 in two years.

Apart from these conflicting figures, the government needs to offer tax incentives to labour intensive industries in order to attract foreign investment.

If the Modi government manages to get the GST bill passed in the parliament, it will certainly give a boost to ‘Make in India’ initiative.

The ‘Make in India’ initiative is the flagship programme of the Modi government, which aims to make India a manufacturing hub.

Around 2,500 international and 8,000 domestic companies participated in the week-long industrial event. Maharashtra has attracted maximum investment, in terms of volume, Rs 8.2 trillion ($116 billion approx). “Maharashtra could become the gateway for the rest of the country,” Mr Kant said. “The economy has been opened up across many sectors and the event is focusing on innovation and nurturing inventors,” he added.

Besides, IRB Infra has signed concession agreement on Zozila Pass tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir by March.

Speaking about the Zozila Pass tunnel project, IRB Infra Chairman and MD Virendra Mhaiskar said: “This project has strategic and socio-economic importance as it will provide the much-needed all-weather connectivity between Jammu and Kashmir and Leh (Ladakh), which remains cut off during the winter due to heavy snowfall, and hence (the project) assumes national importance.” The tunnel is expected to be completed in seven years.

Oracle Corp has pledged investment of $400 million which aims to set up nine business incubation centres in India.

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