New Delhi: The Government's mission is to make India the number one automobile manufacturing hub in the world and make the auto sector a Rs 25 lakh crore industry, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Thursday.
Addressing a seminar at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit, the minister asked auto manufacturers to invest in clean technologies, especially in electric vehicles, otherwise, they will "miss the bus."
Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of a USD 5 trillion economy and a self-reliant India, Gadkari said, "We are looking at the auto sector to become a Rs 25 lakh crore industry."
He further said, "We have to become the number one. Our mission, our target is to make the Indian automobile industry in the world the number one manufacturing hub."
Gadkari reminded the audience that when he took charge as minister, India's automobile sector was seventh in the world.
"It is a great pride and pleasure for me that under the leadership of PM Modi, we have achieved a very respectable feat. Now we have surpassed Japan and our number is third in the world." There is a huge potential in the auto sector as demand is not just in the domestic market but also in international markets, the minister said.
The size of the industry is Rs 12.5 lakh crore at present.
"This is the industry which has Rs 4 lakh crore from exports and this is the industry which has already created 4 crore jobs. This is the industry which is giving the maximum revenue as part of GST to state governments and the Central government," he said.
On electrification, he said sales of electric vehicles (EVs) have increased multifold in India in the past few years and those who have made investments in the technology are benefiting while others who are late are struggling.
"Invest (in EVs) otherwise you will miss the bus," he added.
Speaking at the event, Union Heavy Industries Minister Mahendra Nath Pandey said the government has taken up several measures, including the FAME scheme, PLIs for auto and Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) battery, to promote electric vehicles and their manufacturing in India.
He said the production of ACC battery in India under the PLI scheme is expected to start by around February. When asked about the extension of the FAME scheme on the sidelines of the event, Pandey did not comment specifically, but such proposals are under the government's consideration.