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Coronavirus lockdown: Disruption in global supply chains pave way for ‘Make in India’ products

NEW DELHI: Government departments are working to utilise disruption in global supply chains to strengthen Indian manufacturing, by producing more spares and finished products here. Officials said the plans expedited as the Prime Minister, at a Cabinet meeting recently, advised ministers to prepare actionable steps to boost manufacturing and exports for the post-lockdown phase.

The key areas of focus would include pharmaceuticals, electronics including medical electronics, textiles, food processing and defence equipment. The industries were identified based on the efficiencies in these areas, sufficiently large markets in India, and ample scope for exports.

For instance, “the twin realisations that without Chinese raw materials our much-vaunted pharmaceuticals industry could be left crippled, and that we can replace them as global suppliers by the long list of orders from across the globe even during this crisis, has given an edge to plans to once again invest in producing APIs(active pharma ingredients) and other products here,” said an official.

In the electronics field, officials feel that firms can, by using R&D tie-ups and reverse engineering, manage to efficiently make many critical parts that run up huge import bills currently. Besides, they can help make India a global exporter of automobiles.

Similarly, textile ministry officials say the disruptions in textile trade, which is dependant on a lot of imported accessories, could give India an edge as it has units making most things needed for the sector.
However, officials want the textile industry to step up efforts to go up the supply chain and produce more value added textiles and garments instead of competing with low-cost producers like Bangladesh and Vietnam.

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