The Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce has called upon the government to put in a concerted effort to increase the share of manufacturing in the gross domestic product (GDP). The development of the National Manufacturing Investment Zone (NMIZ) would play a crucial role in helping the manufacturing sector regain a higher share in the GDP, the chamber said.
In a representation submitted to the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC) at a meeting convened by the Member Secretary of the Council in Delhi, the BCIC stated that the contribution of state governments was vital in this regard. Emphasis is required to be given on taking an integrated view on the important parameters like infrastructure, speedy clearance of projects, upgrade of skillsets and technology and reforms in labour laws, it said.
The NMCC held its meeting in Delhi on Monday which was attended by the principal secretaries of the southern states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. M Lakshminarayan, President, BCIC, said: "NMIZs should be positioned as infrastructure-ready investment destinations to ensure its role in ensuring a sustained industrial production to help increase the contribution of the sector from the present 13 per cent to 25 per cent of the GDP by 2022."
He added: "Even as speedy clearances were crucial, urgent steps need to be taken for giving a push to infrastructure like power, industrial township, additional container ports and Railway link between Hubli and Ankola were equally important."
BCIC feels that the NMIZ concept would become meaningful only if a holistic approach was adopted to strengthen skill and technology upgrade strategies, with an emphasis on design and development. It is imperative to create a skill development budget to ensure the smooth implementation of the tasks.
In a comprehensive note submitted by the BCIC to Member Secretary A N Chandramouli, the vice president, said: "Labour laws are another important area that need attention for strengthening the manufacturing sector. Labour laws should be made more flexible, extending liberty to the companies to evolve an equitable labour policy."
N Umesh, Chairman, Manufacturing & Services Expert Committee, BCIC, added: "Declare the complete area from Bangalore to Dharwad on either side of the NH 47 as an industrial corridor, specifically targeting the following towns: Sira, Chitradurga, Davanagere, Haveri, Dharwad, and Hospet. Gulbarga and Bidar districts should also be targeted separately but in parallel. Connectivity between Mangalore and Hubli should also be expanded."
Food processing with dedicated and assured infrastructure like power, quality testing laboratories and cold network of cola storage with modern facilities also should be made part of the overall NMIZs strategy, BCIC representation said.
Urban Renewal, developing Tier-2 cities with adequate infrastructure, housing facilities around the industrial zones and stepping up campaign to stress the importance of manufacturing sector for a balanced economic growth should garner importance in the overall strategy are some other major suggestions.