Why Make-in-India is doing only half its job .

The government seems ecstatic over its economic performance since it came to power in 2014. Apart from initiating public programmes to bolster growth, the likes of the IMF predicting a 7.5% growth-rate in the coming year for the country has only added to the euphoria. While exports remain sluggish and rural demand did not match expectations in the last few years, the persistent, near-67% increase in freight charges (a leading indicator) and the recently announced 61% increase in FDI as compared to the previous year are being used to compensate for any negatives.

A significant jump in FDI, from $21.06 billion in FY14 to $34.9 billion in FY15, is being held as a representative of the success of PM Narendra Modi’s Make-in-India initiative, designed to invite investors to produce their products and services in the country. Make-in-India has been this government’s flagship initiative and is used as one of the primary justifications for Modi’s frequent international travels. As of May 2016, the PM has been on 40 different foreign trips to promote Make-in-India, apart from strategic visits under Act East and Neighbourhood First.

While it is true that Make-in-India’s primary goal is to renew interest in the country as an investment destination, it has been also widely advertised by the government as a method to boost employment. Cognisant of the dismal figures in employment generation between 2005 and 2012 — wherein only 15 million jobs were added, leaving 50 million youth unemployed — the programme, as per the PM, will increase the pace of employment generation.

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Amit Singh

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