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Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma has said that the share of manufacturing in the gross domestic product (GDP) must climb up to 26 per cent from the current 16 per cent to address the challenge of job creation.
Speaking at an interactive session on "Transforming India: Role of Youth" organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) at the St Xavier's College here yesterday, Sharma said the National Manufacturing Policy was one of the key instruments to achieve this goal
Sharma further admitted that creation of jobs was a major challenge before the nation, and therefore it was necessary to go back to high rate of economic growth of around 9 per cent per annum.
"High growth is not an option, but an imperative. The larger issue is not just numbers but the social dimension. If we fail to address the issue of job creation, the social cost will be unbearable," he added.
Sharma further briefed the students about the National Skill Development Mission which has set an ambitious target of imparting job skills to 500 million persons by the year 2022.
Underlining the seriousness of the government in making India a major manufacturing hub, Sharma said that the government was in the process of establishing 12 stand alone world class industrial townships across the country.
Terming the upcoming Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor as the biggest industrial infrastructure project in the world at the moment, Sharma informed that 9 of the 12 industrial townships fell under DMIC, with the 900 sq. kms. Dholera Industrial Centre in Gujarat being the largest.
"We have gone beyond drawing board. Master Plans for seven projects have already been completed," he added.
Emphasing the importance of technology, Sharma said that "the world is changing, and technology is leading the change."
He said that the government has placed immense importance on technology development and has drawn up plans to double expenditure on R and D from current 1 per cent of GDP to 2 percent of GDP. New IITs, IIITs, National Institute of Designs etc, which are being established would address the growing needs of youth to prepare them to take up the challenge, he informed.
Sharma told the youth that the decades ahead presented immense opportunities for India.
He said that "with ageing West, and China following suit, India, with a large young population, will have 57 million surplus skilled workers ready to absorb job opportunities across the world". The Minister, however, did not forget to underline that the nations must remain committed to open markets.
Dwelling on the issue of corruption and scams, he said that India has in place an effective mechanism in the form of free judiciary to fix the problem.
He cited the example of Satyam and said that the government was able to facilitate transfer of ownership in a transparent manner, at the same time protecting over 20 thousand jobs.
He said, unfortunately, only the negatives get magnified and positives are not reported by the media. (ANI)