New Delhi: The Union government is working on an import substitution industrialization policy, given that the substantial rise in imports, especially of crude oil, is adversely impacting the economy.

The centre is formulating a policy to substitute imported goods with domestic products, of which electric vehicles will form a major part, Union minister for road transport, highways and shipping, Nitin Gadkari, said at the annual session of an event organized by the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA).

“The automotive industry is always in need of more subsidies compared to what has been given to them. The industry now has to invest in research and development of new technologies and I would request car makers and suppliers to make use of our rivers while transporting their vehicles and other goods," he said.

Increase in imports and the volatile dollar-rupee exchange rates have hurt the Indian economy in the recent past. The Union government has also been trying to reduce the crude oil bill to curb pollution in major cities.

“The motive of our government has always been to reduce import of goods and reduce pollution levels and the automobile industry alone can contribute to both the manufacturing and service industry. This industry still contributes majorly in increasing exports," said Gadkari.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to launch the FAME II scheme that incentivises mass adoption of electric vehicles on 7 September. The Centre seeks to achieve by 2030 the target of ensuring that 30% of the vehicles plying on Indian roads are electric vehicles.

“We need to change with time and our mentality also needs to change. The government will make policies and the industry has to execute. We are trying to move towards electric mobility and the changes need to be made immediately," said Anant Geete, Union minister for heavy industries. “Industry needs to meet global demands and accept new technologies," he said.

The government is also trying to increase exports to Africa and South America. “We are promoting exports in a big way and our exports have grown in the last fiscal, despite global headwinds. We have a concrete action plan to increase exports in African countries where only 8% of the total exports are headed at present. The auto component industry should tap these countries as this industry already exports on a large scale," said Suresh Prabhu, Union minister for commerce and aviation.

Close