Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday said “our target is to make our country a manufacturing hub of construction equipment in the world.”

The minister was addressing a CII webinar through video conference

He said to achieve the objective of self-reliance, “we need to reduce imports and boost the manufacturing of various components and parts in the automobile sector which are presently being imported.”

He appealed to all the industries in the sector to develop industrial clusters, technology centres, research labs and up-gradation of technology and skills.

Gadkari assured the stakeholders to extend all possible support in developing technology centres in India. The Minister also stressed on the need for research and cost reduction without compromising quality.

He also exhorted the participants to face the challenges of issues thrown up by COVID-19 pandemic.

“Entire industrial sector today is facing a lot of challenges in the wake of COVID-19 crisis but we have to fight all the challenges with a positive frame of mind and make the automobile industry a manufacturing hub for construction equipment,” Gadkari said.

To achieve this, cost reduction without compromising with quality, be a must, he added.

The Minister called for research, innovation and technology up-gradation and emphasized on the need of joint ventures and foreign collaborations to get easy finance and compatible technology.

Maximum use of LNG, CNG and bio fuels can definitely reduce the cost. Government is also working on integrating and developing all kinds of transport like water ways, sea transportation, rail, road and air transports which will definitely reduce the logistic cost and help industries in a big way, he said.

He said that government is proactively making changes in policies for achieving self-reliance (Aatm Nirbharta) as envisioned by the Prime Minister.

Gadkari further said that to encourage MSMES definition of MSMEs has been changed, credit facility and fund of funds have been created for these industries. He said work is going ahead on a new scrapping policy for the transport sector.

He said the government is ready to support industries in all possible ways and industries should come in with innovative plans, so that we may fulfill the dream of manufacturing hubs in the automobile sector.

Nitin Gadkari also emphasized on clearing MSME dues by all on priority. He called upon large industries and business houses/Companies to treat this as an important matter.

Gadkari asked CII members to help in the development and growth of ancillary units/industries to supply spare parts.