NATIONAL MANUFACTURING AND INVESTMENT ZONES TO CREATE MORE JOBS: ANAND SHARMA – ADDRESSES INDUSTRY CAPTAINS
Shri Anand Sharma, Union Minister for Commerce & Industry, while addressing at an Interactive Session with Industry of Northern Region, in Chandigarh today, said that while services have grown at a rapid pace, the share of the manufacturing sector in the country’s GDP has stagnated at around 15%. “With the objective of helping Indian manufacturing to achieve its true potential and in the process be an engine for job creation, we have proposed the creation of a number of National Manufacturing & Investment Zones (NMIZ)”, the Minister added. While detailing the NMIZs, Shri Sharma said: “the NMIZ would provide good physical infrastructure, a progressive exit policy, structures to support clean and green technologies, appropriate investment incentives and business friendly approval mechanisms and each zone would have a combination of production units, public utilities, logistics, environment protection mechanisms, residential areas and administered services. The interactive session was organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and attended by a large number of representatives from Industry and senior officials of the government.
During the interaction, Shri Anand Sharma said, “We have witnessed rapid economic development post liberalization. However, given the size of our country and the daunting task of providing a basic minimum standard of living for all, we need to achieve much faster growth. We are a young country and we need to cater to the youthful aspirations. According to the 2007-08 Economic Survey, 64.8% of India’s population would be in the working age of 15-64 years in 2026. By 2015, India will have 800 million people in the productive age group of 15 to 59, ahead of China which is expected to have only 600 million. This means that we need to create employment and enterprise opportunities at that scale. For this to happen, jobs will have to be created both in the services and the manufacturing sector”.
“The NMIZ would have a governing body which would be in the form of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) formed with the constituents of that specific NMIZ. The SPV would have the delegated authority from the State Government, Ministries in the Central Government and other Government agencies for issuing necessary clearances for the inception and continuation of business ventures inside the NMIZ. Thus, the concept of NMIZ combines the framework for more business friendly policy, procedures and approval ecosystem, combined with superior physical infrastructure”, he added.
“Investments are critical to economic growth and in today’s globalized world, FDI play an important role,” stated Shri Sharma and added that “while India remains an attractive destination for FDI, we can do with much more. In order to simplify FDIs, my Ministry has released the final document of FDI Policy Framework that would now comprise the single document on FDI policy”.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said that the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) development project being executed over six States of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh at an investment of over US $ 90 billion, will generate significant economic activity along the dedicated rail freight corridor between Delhi and Mumbai and aims to double employment potential in seven years, triple industrial output in nine years and quadruple exports from the region in 9 year period. “Under this project, 24 investment nodes have been identified of which there are 11 investment zones and 13 industrial areas. Of the seven nodes being developed in the first phase, Manesar-Bawal region in Haryana is receiving special focus and attention. We have cleared the overall perspective plan for the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor region and planning of the roads in Haryana is proceeding at a fast pace. In the Early Bird projects finalized for the state of Haryana, a project for establishment of a Smart City which envisages the Manesar-Bawal region which will be implemented on a PPP basis with the support and collaboration of Japan. In the recent visit of the Japanese Trade Minister, we took stock of the progress of the project and I am satisfied that we are proceeding as per schedule. I have also held a meeting with the Chief Minister of Haryana who has kindly agreed to earmark 250 acres of land for establishment of a world class Convention cum Exhibition facility”, Shri Sharma added.
As regards exports front, Shri Sharma said: “if we have to continue to grow rapidly and move towards our objective of double digit growth, exports have to play a much larger role. We not only have to become competitive to increase our exports but we also have to diversify our export markets and we need to look at the markets of Africa, Latin America, Oceania and CIS countries”.
In his welcome address, Shri R M Khanna, Chairman, CII Northern Region said that although the contribution of the Northern region to the national GDP continues to be the highest at 27.5%, it has been declining over the years with manufacturing witnessing one of the lowest growth rates amongst the key sub sectors. “Credit availability, infrastructure and inflation remain major areas of concern and we request the Government to focus on these areas and alleviate the problem so that Industry can contribute even more to the GDP”, he added. During his address, Shri Harpal Singh, Immediate Past Chairman, CII Northern Region said that India needs to significantly raise basic educational standards, increase the quality and quantity of our universities as well as introduce other measures on the agricultural front. Shri Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General-CII, in his remarks said that CII has been proactively engaged with the Indian Reforms process for economic development and in the pre–liberalization era, CII advocated reforms for economic liberalization and its role was crucial in building consensus around the reforms and minimizing opposition to them. Now is the time for second generation reforms.