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Focus on hi-value manufacturing

India to grow faster even as the country focusses on hi-value manufacturing that is not just capital intensive.

india Updated: Jan 27, 2006 12:02 IST
Prerna K Mishra (Hindustan Times)
Prerna K Mishra (Hindustan Times)

China has taken more resources to fuel its growth as much of what is happening there is mass manufacturing. However, India will grow faster even with lesser foreign direct investment as the country's focus is hi-value manufacturing that is not just capital intensive. It needs a lot of intellectual property inputs, Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath said on the sidelines of the WEF on Thursday.

However, that is not to undermine the importance of foreign investment into the country. "We are aiming at taking the FDI from $7.5 billion in 2006 to about $10 billion by 2007 which would be double the FDI that the country attracted two years ago."

The rationale behind allowing 51 per cent FDI into single brand, multiple product retail segment was primarily to fuel job creation in the 22 24 year age group. "The BPOs have done their bit but we expect that the limited opening up of the retail sector itself will generate nearly 100,000 jobs in the near future." The move will also encourage foreign re tailers to make India their global sourcing hub generating indirect jobs and also fuelling the domestic offtake of such goods as the prices rationalise further, he added.

"We are not averse to the rest of the 41 per cent coming from FIIs since we allow 100 per cent foreign investment in many other sectors. Why exclude retail? The only concern that we have to address while opening up the retail sector is to protect the mom and pop stores and kiryana corners," the minister added.

"In any case", Nath added, "On the issue of FDI the real battle is between big versus smaller retailers irrespective of whether they are domestic or foreign brands."

First Published: Jan 27, 2006 12:02 IST