“I want to make sure that there is an understanding in the industry that the government is not immune to your issues and is fully inclined to understanding all your problems,” Sitharaman said at a web conference with members of industry chamber FICCI on Friday.
The minister said that the clarion call to become self-reliant did not mean curbing imports or becoming protectionist, rather it meant to build on India’s strengths to become part of the global supply chain.
“Aatmanirbhar Bharat doesn’t mean we are curbing imports,” Sitharaman said. “We have to build our strengths to become self-reliant but that does not mean we are becoming protectionist,” she added.
The government intends to make India an integral part of the global supply chain, even as foreign companies look for alternatives to China for setting up manufacturing bases.
“We have to identify the advantages that we had and find new ones. Aatmanirbhar Bharat of PM means getting our strengths back and build new strengths,” the minister added, quoting Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Exalting FICCI for working for the industry’s cause and with the government, the minister stressed on the criticality of such bodies during unprecedented times like the Covid-19 pandemic.