Mumbai: Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant on Saturday said that a lot of spadework has already been done on the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for auto and component manufacturers and the government plans to push it forward in a big way. Kant, who was addressing the 60th annual convention of the Association of Auto Component Manufacturers (ACMA) in New Delhi on Saturday, also said that the scrappage policy was at a "very very advanced stage" of the inter-ministerial discussions. The vehicle scrappage policy is aimed at the scrapping of old vehicles in exchange for some incentives for consumers. "We at Niti Aayog have done a lot of spadework (on the PLI scheme). The department of heavy industry has actually interacted with the automobile and auto component manufacturers. We would push this (PLI scheme) in a very big way ...for auto components and automobile manufacturers," he said. "The scrappage policy also is at a very advanced stage of inter-ministerial discussions and we will push both these things forward," Kant added. Terming the domestic auto component makers as truly a great example of 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat,' he said if India is going to get a V-shaped recovery from the (current) crisis, it will have to be on the back of the automobile and auto component manufacturers. Kant said the companies which use technology, digitisation, among others, will grow, survive and flourish in the days to come, adding that this is a huge opportunity for the people who adapt and get into complete innovative areas of growth and use technology and digitisation to leapfrog in the world of tomorrow. "We have reliance on imports for low-tech components like gearboxes, tubes and steering wheels. I do not see any technological impediment for localisation of these components. There is no rationale for importing these components," Kant said. He said that when the Prime Minister talks about Aatmanirbhar Bharat, "he is not talking about isolationism, he is not talking about anti-globalisation. He is talking about making Indian companies excel, talking about the opportunity to capture the large domestic market of India and using the domestic market, assisting those for exports and penetrating the global market," Kant said. "I believe that there will be a huge indigenisation of all components of automobile value chains. There is a need to focus on local manufacturing at (level of) tier-1, 2 and 3 suppliers, and all technologies and resources need to be (made) available," he said. There is a need to create jobs in the auto component sector with various skill development programmes to cater to new technologies like electric vehicles and infusion, Kant emphasised. "There will be an inevitable disruption in the area of electric vehicles so it is essential to re-skill our existing workforce for a smooth transition. More jobs related to electronics and digitisation will be created," Kant added. The nature of jobs will change rapidly as more jobs related to electronics and digitalisation would be created, he said adding that the ecosystem as a whole will grow and electric revolution will be a huge job creator. "We are creating many many jobs but new kinds of jobs and therefore it is essential to re-skill our existing workforce for a smooth transition to EVS," Kant said. Speaking at the ACMA event, Uday Kotak, CII President and Kotak Mahindra Bank's MD and CEO, said the concept of an 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' is symbolised by auto component manufacturers as the industry's supply chain has become globalised. He said "ACMA is a true symbol of what we can do as a self-reliant manufacturing sector. We should be looking at not protection but global competitiveness, exports as our basis for the future," Kotak said, adding that strength of "our manufacturing, the strength of Indian economy should make us self-reliant."
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