Centre clears manufacturing policy

New Delhi: The government today cleared the long-awaited National Manufacturing Policy (NMP) which seeks to set up mega industrial zones and create 100 million jobs by 2022.

"The NMP seeks to enhance the share of manufacturing in the GDP to 25 per cent within a decade and create 100 million jobs in manufacturing as part of the inclusive growth agenda of the UPA," Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said after the Cabinet approved the policy. To encourage the manufacturing sector, the government will provide fiscal incentives to the industry, particularly to the

small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The Cabinet had earlier taken up the NMP in its meeting on September 15. The matter was, however, deferred following differences between ministries over the labour and environment issues. It was later referred a Group of Ministers headed by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar.

The NMP, Sharma said, "will ensure compliance of labour and environmental laws while introducing procedural simplifications and rationalisation so that the regulatory burden on the industry is reduced". He said the interventions proposed are generally sector neutral, location neutral and technology neutral, except the attempt to incentivise green technology for sustainable development.

"No subsidy is proposed for individual units or areas. The basic thrust is to provide an enabling environment for tapping the potential of the private sector and the entrepreneurial skills of the younger population," Sharma said.

The major objectives of the NMP are to increase the sectoral share of manufacturing in GDP to at least 25 per cent, create 100 million jobs by 2022 and enhance global competitiveness of the sector. Besides, it focuses on domestic value addition, technological depth and environmental sustainability of growth.

The policy envisages specific interventions broadly in the areas of industrial infrastructure development and improvement of the business environment through rationalisation and simplification of business regulations. Besides, development of appropriate technologies, especially green technologies for sustainable development, and skill development of the younger population are envisaged, Sharma said.

The NMP aims at creating large integrated industrial townships — National Investment and Manufacturing Zones (NIMZs). "The land for these zones will preferably be waste infertile land which is not suitable for cultivation; not in the vicinity of any ecologically fragile area and with reasonable access to basic resources," Sharma said.

The contribution of the manufacturing sector is just over 16 per cent of India`s GDP, currently. With a view to accelerating the growth of the manufacturing sector, Sharma said that the manufacturing policy proposes to create an enabling environment suitable for the sector to flourish in India.