Bajaj Auto Managing Director Rajiv Bajaj (pictured above-centre) on Thursday criticised the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, saying that it was not right to blame its execution “if the idea is not working”. At a gathering of of information technology industry executives, Bajaj also criticised the Narendra Modi-led government’s ‘Make in India’ programme, saying that regulatory hurdles would turn the programme into ‘Mad in India’, PTI reported.
“If your innovation in the country depends on government approval or judicial process, it will not be a case of ‘Made in India’, but ‘Mad in India’,” Bajaj said. “After five years, we are still waiting for permission to sell our four-wheeler in the country,” he said.
Bajaj also asked why India was the only country which had not given his company permission to sell its quadricycle, despite it being sold in global markets and the vehicle being more fuel-efficient and safer than other categories. “For some reason it [the Indian government] thinks if four-wheeler is worse, let people continue on three-wheeler,” he said. “We are the world’s largest three-wheeler maker and we export more than we sell in this market,” he said. However, Bajaj did not elaborate on any further criticism with the scheme.
While the Centre has heavily promoted ‘Make in India’, the programme has been criticised for its lack of focus on innovation by only attempting to manufacture goods for external markets. Between 2007 and 2012, the country’s manufacturing grew by just 7.7%, far below the targeted growth rate of 10%-11%. In the next 15 years, an estimated 250 million people will join the labour force. The decision to demonetise nearly 86% of India’s cash has been widely criticised by the Opposition and economists, and citizens have faced a cash crunch ever since.