How does one judge ‘Make in India’? Recent news that foreign direct investment (FDI) flowing to defence in 2016-17 was an absurd trickle of Rs 61,000 (or perhaps $61,000, the Ministry of Defence didn’t specify) seems to have not caused much of a ripple.
Nor has the fact that FDI in defence in the past three years has been – this isn’t a typo either – $1,74,000, notwithstanding several liberalisation announcements.
Defence is just one, albeit telling, sector, with its own peculiarities such as the much-delayed “strategic partners” policy and a single buyer – the Ministry of Defence. But it is an exaggerated version of the story playing out across the high-profile Make in India campaign, which promises to generate millions of jobs in India by increasing the share of manufacturing to 25 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).
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