NEW DELHI: The Railways Ministry is investing billions of dollars to modernise the sector and give a push to the 'Make in India' initiative, which is a "marathon" and not a "sprint", Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu said today.
Prabhu said the government is making right investments to make the manufacturing initiative a success story. 'Make in India' "is a mission and not a slogan. We are working on it. I always say that if you are doing a marathon run, do not run as a sprinter," he said here at the ET Global Business Summit.
There are lot of comparative advantages in India for the manufacturing sector and the world situation today favours India, he said.
Talking about modernisation of the railways, he said the ministry has already issued tenders for USD 7 billion for diesel and electric locomotives. Besides, the ministry is planning to invest USD 20 billion to USD 25 billion for locomotive and coach building factories in West Bengal.
He also said that about 85 per cent of the over USD 16 billion high speed rail network will be made in India and "the ecosystem which will be developed because of (these investments) will be unimaginable".
Speaking at the event, Secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion Amitabh Kant said that the country's growth should be driven by domestic business. On the government's part, Kant said "there is a need to make things easier" and "for the country to have a high rate of growth, at least 10 to 11 states needs to grow at 10-12 per cent over the next three decades and we need to make champion states".
"My belief is that you cannot solve the problems of the next billion people, you cannot provide power to all by 2022 and housing for all by 2022 till India does not become the most disruptive nation in the world." BCG Chairman Hans-Paul Burkner said that India is a huge market for industrial and consumer goods as well as there is a great opportunity for exports.
To make India a favoured investment destination, the government needs to ensure that there is predictability, reliability and stability in terms of rules and regulations, he added. Michael Thiemann, CEO, ThyssenKrupp, raised the issue of data protection in India.
Regarding infrastructure development, construction giant L&T's Deputy Managing Director and President S N Subrahmanyan said that there is a need to develop infrastructure eying the demand of the future.
He also stressed on skill development to match the growing needs. Vedanta Resources CEO Tom Albanese said India has a lot of unrealise potential particularly in mines and minerals.