Extending the PLI benefits to farmers could be the main theme of the scheme for food products, apart from growing exports, according to people in the know. After announcing the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme across several sectors to boost local manufacturing, the Union government is ready to set the ball in motion. In its bid to attract major private enterprises in the priority sectors, Prime Minister Narendra Modi
has invited dozens of industry leaders for a virtual meet.
Top executives from telecom to electronics, food processing to pharmaceutical
and steel to textile industries will meet the PM on Friday over video-conferencing. Suresh Narayanan, chairman and managing director of Nestle India; Manish Sharma, president, Panasonic India; R C Bhargava, chairman, Maruti Suzuki; Pawan Kumar Goenka, MD, Mahindra & Mahindra; R S Sodhi, MD, Amul; and Sunil Vachani, CMD, Dixon technologies, are among the invitees, according to sources. Sajjan Jindal, MD, JSW Group; Gopal Vittal, CEO, Bharti Airtel; Hemant Malik, CEO-foods business, ITC; and top executives from leading pharma and chemicals industry are also expected to participate.
Apart from communicating the government’s efforts to make the PLI scheme
a success in the next financial year, an outreach programme has been organized by the Department of Economic Affairs to take note of the concerns of the industry. Industry associations like the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) are actively involved in bringing the two sides together. Top representatives of NITI Aayog too would attend the meeting.
Extending the PLI benefits to farmers could be the main theme of the scheme for food products, apart from growing exports, according to people in the know. “Ideas and proposals that can offer direct benefits to farmers will be given importance. Moreover, the government is readying a plan to support food exports from India to countries that are open for importing. However, a strict compliance mechanism will be in place so that manufacturers don't misuse the scheme to avail incentives,” said a person tracking the developments.
While the government has already given in-principle approval to Rs 1.94 trillion worth of outlay for 12 sectors, detailed schemes are yet to be announced by the nodal ministries or departments in many cases. For example, Rs 10,900 crore has been approved as incentives for the food products industry for the next five years, but the Ministry of Food Processing hasn't come out with the details of the PLI scheme
that is expected to be in effect from April 1.
Senior executives in the food processing industry are now expecting a copy of the blueprint ahead of Friday's meet. “Now that industry is being invited to discuss the scheme with the respected PM, we hope to see the terms and conditions before the meeting. Without these, how would we put forward our concerns or interests,'' noted a top executive of a leading consumer goods company.
Manufacturers in electronic and technology products (Rs 5,000 crore outlay approved), automobiles and auto components (Rs 57,042 crore), textile (Rs 10,683 crore) and specialty steel (Rs 6,322 crore), among others, are yet to get the PIL scheme details. Earlier, the PM had met industry leaders ahead of the Union to understand their pain points and discuss the government's economic vision for a turnaround.
With Covid-19 and scattered lockdown continuing to hurt the country's economic growth and employment generation, the government is banking on the new PLI scheme
to promote local industry.