With the ongoing CoVid Crisis, the Abhiyaan of Aatm Nirbhar Bharat has been gaining public support. But where exactly is the support needed. Let us see the sectors that are heavily dependent on imports and cannot immediately scale up production domestically.
Electric and Electronic Sectors :
Value addition in these sectors is mostly limited to assembly . With most of the primary and critical components being imported ,this sectors costs huge trade deficit annually. Lack of Skilled labour ,inadequate power availability, policy confusion , inavailability of technology infrastructure make the domestic units incompetitive , thus this industry has not developed much.
The Union Government has launched three crucial schemes -which are a glimmer for these sectors .
1.)Production linked incentive : 4-6% incentive on incremental sales of goods manufactured in India over base year , for 5 subsequent years
2.) Scheme for promotion of Manufacturing of Electric components and semiconductors (SPECS) : Financial incentive of 25% on Capital Expenditure for identified Electronic goods.
3.)Modified Electronic Manufacturing clusters (2.0) :World Class Infrastructre and amenities for production firms in EMCs.
This would increase 8 lakh Crores in GDP contribution of this sector and generate 10 lakh jobs in five years.
Pharma and Medicine:
Our pharma Industry was once self- sufficient in manufacturing drugs in the 80s . But due to cheap Chinese imports , the industry became incompetitive and contracted heavily in the following decades.
Presently , $2.5 Bn worth of Active Pharmaceutical Ingridient (API) was imported in FY19- amounting to 40% of domestic consumption . This is the most important biologically active part of the drug and usedin Antibiotics and vitamins imported. The heavy dependence on Chinese Industry for these was reflected by their shortage in the month January- march 2020 – due to lockdown in Wuhan and other parts of China.
Medical devices like ventilators are dependent on imports due to several crucial components. This has increased the cost of ventilators ,and has thus resulted in limited accessibility to all parts of the country, and poor affordibility to the masses.
The recent push seen in manufacturing of medical equipment by domestic units is a positive sign. The indigenous ventilators developed – Jeevan by Rail Coach Factory along with many other prototypes by various research industries has showed capacity of indigenous sector. The scale of production of PPEs and masks has increased dramatically in just 2 months. But more needs to be done in form of Research and Development of technologies and policy nudge to the industry by the government.