S Jaishankar To NDTV, Employment, Infrastructure Growth: “People Who Are Blocking Infra, Jobs Growth…”: S Jaishankar To NDTV

New Delhi:

There are strong links between jobs creation, infrastructure growth and ensuring private capital from abroad can easily access manufacturing opportunities in the domestic market, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar explained Tuesday in an exclusive interview with NDTV.

He said it the government had to build infrastructure and frame policies that make it easy for investors to invest in or run businesses in India, and then took a veiled dig at the opposition, referring to “people blocking infrastructure… business” and accusing them of “blocking employment in this country”.

“From ’14 (when Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power) we have started to rectify policies that made it hard to not just manufacture in this country, but also employ in this country,” Mr Jaishankar responded to a question on making India a more appealing destination for foreign investment.

“… if you were to ask me, ‘Have we done a lot in the last 10 years?’, my answer would be ‘Yes.’ Do we have to do a lot more in the next 10? My answer would be ‘Yes.’ I think there were real mistakes and shortcomings on our part…”

“You know… people often put this in terms of ‘business’. I also put it to you… to me ‘business’ and ’employment’ are two sides of the same coin. The people who are blocking infrastructure… people blocking business… are also people blocking employment.”

Mr Jaishankar stressed on the need to surmount these challenges and said, “Today, I would say, this is how we become more competitive… how we create, bring in jobs” and highlighted the Prime Minister’s June visit to the United States, during which a semiconductor manufacturing firm said it would set up an $825 million plant in Gujarat.

Micron Technology, Inc. said construction of the facility in Gujarat – Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state – will begin this year and the first phase will be operational in late-2024.

The goal, Mr Jaishankar told NDTV, is to make India “the place we (foreign companies) are going to go and put up (manufacturing business)… this is what this is all about.”

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