Indian growth cannot be FDI-driven: Muralidhar Rao

Expansion of manufacturing in India cannot be driven by foreign investments and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision is to unleash the potential of the Indian entrepreneurial class to its fullest extent, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) general secretary P. Muralidhar Rao said.

Mr. Rao, a former pracharak of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), has been part of the informal consultations between the Sangh and the government on economy-related issues.

“The Make in India campaign is not exclusive of foreign investment, but it is not driven by foreign capital. The track that we are laying for Indian manufacturing is not led by foreign capital. There can be a happy blend though,” he said.

The BJP leader pointed out that India has an “entrepreneurial class, the knowhow and the domestic experience,” adding that the FDI-driven approach in East Asian countries may not fit the Indian context as “it was a different historical context.”

Job creation was only one of the objectives of the Modi government in promoting manufacturing in India, as reducing trade deficit was an equally pressing concern.

“Creating more job opportunities is priority but we have to reduce trade imbalances to make the country self-reliant and powerful,” he said.

He identified telecom and defence as the two sectors that account for a large proportion of Indian imports. “Developing manufacturing capability in these sectors is a priority,” he said.

“The idea is to make India a powerful country, and a nationalist government, led a by a decisive leader with popular backing is well poised to achieve that objective.”