Lauding the dynamism shown by major Indian firms against global competition, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday expressed his government's desire to transform India into the ‘workshop of the world’, just like England once was.
Acknowledging the potential of manufacturing industries towards making the country an industrial giant as well as creating millions of jobs, Singh stressed on the need to turn India into a global manufacturing hub. “The UPA government will do whatever is necessary to realise this goal,” he said while laying the foundation stone of the world’s largest two-wheeler company Hero Honda’s third manufacturing unit at Haridwar on Thursday.
Listing his government's economic policies that have resulted in eight per cent annual growth for the last three years, Singh said that it had been possible because of creation of an environment where creativity and enterprise could flourish. “I am amazed at the dynamism being shown by our industries and firms. Many of them are actually taking over firms in other countries, setting up factories and becoming global companies,” he said. “Firms such as Hero Group represent the future of Indian business and manufacturing,” he said.
The company will invest Rs 1,900 crore in this plant along with ancillaries by 2010. The plant, expected to be operational by mid-2007, will have an initial capacity of 500,000 units that would be scaled up to 1.5 million units by 2010.
Hero Honda Managing Director Pawan Munjal said the initial investment in the plant would be Rs 400 crore, which would see the company produce five lakh units by 2007.
A senior company official said that Hero Honda had put plans and strategies in place to maintain its market leadership in India as it hopes to close the financial year at a double-digit growth.
Munjal said Hero Honda would launch six new bikes in the Indian market by the end of this financial year.