• Saturday, May 18, 2024


Will make India a manufacturing hub in 5 years, says opposition Congress chief

Mallikarjun Kharge said the share of manufacturing in the GDP has stagnated in the times of prime minister Narendra Modi.

Mallikarjun Kharge, chief of India’s opposition Indian National Congress (Photo by AMARJEET KUMAR SINGH/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

MALLIKARJUN KHARGE, national president of India’s opposition Indian National Congress which is aiming to dethrone prime minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in this year’s national elections, on Saturday (11) said his party resolves to make the country a premier manufacturing hub by increasing the share of manufacturing from 14 per cent to 20 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in the next five years if it comes to power.

The 81-year-old, who has served as India’s railways and labour and employment minister under the Manmohan Singh government in the past, wrote in a post on X about making (manufacturing) in India, “Congress resolves to make India a manufacturing hub by raising the share of manufacturing from 14% to 20% of GDP in the next 5 years.”

He also said that the manufacturing share of the country’s GDP was higher when the Congress was in power, compared to that under the BJP.

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It may be mentioned here that the current Modi government has emphasised on the manufacturing sector by promoting the ideas of ‘Make in India’ and ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ (Self-reliant India).

“It is thus no surprise that in the last 25 years, India’s manufacturing share of GDP has been higher during the Congress rule. On the contrary, in the last 10 years (2014-24), the share of manufacturing has stagnated at just 14 per cent”, he said, reiterating the claims that the Congress has made in its manifesto for this year’s election.

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Kharge, who was campaigning in the southern states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on Friday (10), also said that the Grand-Old Party is determined to make India a manufacturing powerhouse that makes goods and services for itself and the world.

The Congress leader also said that the party’s immediate objective will be to restore a healthy, fearless and trustworthy climate for businesses.

Elaborating on the party’s goal, the veteran said that the Congress-led government in 1991 had abolished industrial licensing and controls.

“The independent regulatory regime that was put in place has deteriorated into a system of overt and covert controls,” he added.

“We will conduct a comprehensive review of the current rules and regulations and repeal or amend them in order to restore freedom to industry, business and trade,” Kharge said.

Describing the Congress’ ambition, Kharge said that the party will aim for India to attain a position of leadership in multiple industries such as steel, metals, garments and textiles, cement, automobiles, electronic goods, pharmaceuticals, engineering goods, petroleum products, chemicals, and mining rare earth and critical minerals.

Throwing light on the Congress approach, Kharge tweeted, “Congress will reform the production linked incentives (PLI) scheme to target specific sectors that can create thousands of jobs by making India one of the top 5 producers in the world in that sector.”

The Congress leader also mentioned about introducing an employment-linked incentive scheme. He added, “We will introduce a new employment-linked incentive (ELI) Scheme for corporates to win tax credits for additional hiring against regular, quality jobs.”

Reiterating the party’s opposition to monopolies and oligopolies, Kharge said, “Congress will create a level playing field for all businesses. We are opposed to monopolies and oligopolies. We will strengthen the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to ensure that India will be an open and competitive economy.”

The Congress chief also talked about strengthening artificial intelligence and robotics. He said, “We will encourage and support the use of Artificial Intelligence, robotics, etc. which will create new and frontline jobs. At the same time, we will ensure that there are more job opportunities in sectors that use conventional technology.”

The Congress has ruled India for most part of its post-independence era starting August 15, 1947.

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