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Focus on manufacturing sector to create more jobs: Panagariya

India needs to work simultaneously on manufacturing and services, but the focus should be more on manufacturing as it creates more jobs, NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya said.

Panagariya also said that deployment of robots by companies need not be a big concern as the exercise won’t take away jobs, at least not in the next 20 years.

“India needs to work on both manufacturing sector leg and services sector leg…Manufacturing leg is more important because it creates more jobs,” he said while addressing the 4th National Standards Conclave here.

Noting that companies like Maruti in India still employs large number of workers, the NITI Aayog vice-chairman said there were perception that robots are going to steal jobs.

“In my view, robots won’t steal jobs in the next 20 years. We still have time. We have to use all instruments at our disposal,” Panagariya said.

On setting of quality standards for products, he pointed out that in an economy like India’s, where there is a large informal sector, the imposition of safety standards is going to be very difficult for several informal sectors.

“And also from regulation point of view, to implement the regulation becomes very difficult,” Panagariya said.

Citing the example of Indian carpet industry, he said that unless it is housed in larger factory organisation, it will be difficult to implement safety and labour regulations as the bulk of the Indian carpet industry is spread out.

Speaking at the same event, Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia, however, said that India needs to work in finding ways in which it can became a real leader in the services sector.

“Our contribution to global services trade is very low. In the services sector, we have clear cut advantages and we need to capitalise on those because in the future more jobs will come in the services sector,” Teaotia said.

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