New Delhi– Indian manufacturers — both public and private — must provide quality products at affordable costs to face the challenges from China, Union Minister Anant Geete said here on Thursday.

The Minister for Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises also underlined the need for enhanced use of latest automation and robotics technologies to produce quality yet affordable products.

“The era of globalisation has led to a cut-throat competition across the world, thereby making it a challenge for our manufacturing sector to survive. We need to face up to these global challenges, else we might get isolated,” said Geete inaugurating an Assocham international conference “Industry 4.0: Smart Manufacturing”.

He said although the government feels that pushing the industrial sector will lead to create more job opportunities, the upcoming robotics technology may lead to significant job losses.

India’s manufacturing sector has been under stress over the recent past due to various reasons, the minister said.

Geete also spoke on how the government came to the rescue of the domestic steel industry by fixing the minimum import price for steel, as China was supplying finished products at a cost at which the domestic industry gets raw material.

He pointed out that this is how China has been destabilising the domestic steel sector, and more or less a similar situation prevails in the entire manufacturing sector.

“We need to compete with China, which has spread across the world…we need to accept this challenge,” said Geete.

The Union Minister further said: “Prime Minister Narendra Modi, under the aegis of the government’s ambitious ‘Make in India’ programme, has invited global investors and industrialists to come and set up their manufacturing units in India.

“But our first priority should be to save our domestic industry, including both private and public sector enterprises, as they will play the most significant role in the development of programmes like Make in India.” (IANS)