To woo investors, Sharma hardsells National Manufacturing Policy

Last Updated: Mon, Jan 28, 2013 04:12 hrs

Even as Indian economy is facing several challenges and policy hurdles, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma tried to woo investors by showcasing the new National Manufacturing Policy (NMP).

“The NMP is now under implementation. Through the policy, we have put in place a single-window mechanism. It will create mega industrial clusters giving jobs to millions,” said Sharma, while inaugurating the CII Partnership Summit 2013 here today. The opening day of the three-day summit saw delegates participating from 45 countries.

The commerce minister made all efforts to sell the NMP and urged investors to focus on India as the next destination for large-scale investments. In the backdrop of the iconic Taj Mahal, the minister presented the India growth story to foreign investors.

Promoting Uttar Pradesh as a lucrative destination for investments, Sharma said one of the mega manufacturing zones coming up in the state will create millions of jobs. He said the country faces the most important challenge of employing 200 million over the next decade. “If we do not make our people employable, where will the 200 million, for whom we have to create jobs in the next 10 years, go? There has to be a balance between manufacturing and employment generation,” he said. Interestingly, Sharma did not highlight any other policy measures of the government, including the controversial retail FDI.

However, he attempted to silence critics who questioned India’s stance on signing a slew of free trade agreements with the Southeast Asian nations, Japan, South Korea and Malaysia, despite the ongoing financial crisis.

“In recent years, we have engaged more with the world through free trade agreements, comprehensive economic partnerships for which we were criticised. But in today’s world, engagement is necessary. Partnerships and institutional linkages are required to address global challenges,” Sharma said.

The NMP, which was unveiled in October 2011, offers a number of fiscal incentives besides having a special focus on the small and medium sectors. The main objective of the policy is to raise share of the manufacturing sector in the gross domestic product (GDP) from 15-16 per cent to 25 per cent over the next decade.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said the state government would create “an enabling policy regime to attract investment and a facilitating bureaucracy to help industry”.

Yadav said the government would invest heavily in infrastructure development. The state government would add 16,000 Mw to the power generation of capacity in the next five years, he added.

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