Addition of 8 sectors to spur investments; policy for strategic sale of PSEs almost ready, says Bajaj
The production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for manufacturing investments will soon be extended to eight more sectors, and the government is close to finalising its policy for the strategic sale of public sector enterprises (PSEs), Economic Affairs Secretary Tarun Bajaj said on Wednesday. “In the offing are about seven-eight sectors where the PLI scheme would be extended. Unlike our other schemes, this is an outcome- and output-oriented scheme… incentives will be paid only if the manufacturers make the goods,” Mr. Bajaj said. “This scheme will give cash incentives for five to seven years and all the sunrise and important sectors are proposed to be covered in this,” he added. “I have a lot of confidence and hope in the PLI schemes for mobile phones, medical devices and pharmaceuticals. The kind of response we have received on mobile phones gives me a lot of confidence that there is now a demand in the world to have a diversification in your supply chains and India can definitely take advantage of,” Mr. Bajaj said at the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Financial Markets summit.Conceding that the policy for privatising PSEs had been delayed, Mr. Bajaj said this would be a major step that would likely get the approval of the Cabinet ‘very soon.’ ‘Green shoots’Referring to some of the green shoots visible in the economy, such as GST inflows and rail freight in September, Mr. Bajaj said that steel producers had just now informed the Finance Ministry that they were back to using their full capacity. “If steel and cement are doing well, it augurs very well for the economy,” he said. “There are certain things in which we have not only seen improvements, but have also gone up year-on-year. I acknowledge as some of the commentators keep saying, last year itself was not very good, so you can’t compare. But I think I am trying to come out of a very dreadful disease. So I can’t be obese immediately, I have to eat my food before moving up the ladder,” he said, stressing that indicators point to an economy ‘trying to limp back to normalcy’. Taking aim at ‘experts’ who ‘changed their opinions every two months’, the Economic Affairs Secretary said: “Initially, we had this very ‘doom’ kind of a feeling given to us, saying things will only go down. “Suddenly, the festivals have come and the economy is looking up a bit; now the basic point being mentioned is ‘this is the pent-up demand and we will have to see what happens in January and February’,” he added, trying to show the shift in opinions.