"Right policies can revive manufacturing"

Last Updated: Sat, Mar 16, 2013 10:55 hrs

Kolkata, Mar 16 (IBNS) Right policies, transparent and expeditious processing and clearance of projects are key to reviving the stagnant manufacturing sector in the Eastern Region, especially West Bengal, said Member of Parliament (MP) Saugata Roy here.

Speaking at the Manufacturing Colloquium organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Eastern Region in Kolkata on Saturday, Roy said manufacturing is a core sector that has the potential to contribute significantly to the state GDP, generate countless new jobs, ensure growth of economy and prosperity for society at large.

"But unfortunately, the share of West Bengal in Indian manufacturing, which stood at 13% in 1970-71, had dropped to only 3% in 2009-10," he said.

However, Roy said West Bengal is extremely rich in resources - raw materials, skilled manpower, surplus power, etc.

He expressed optimism that if they are utilised optimally, West Bengal will certainly regain its past glory in the manufacturing sector.

Roy thanked Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for organising the Colloquium which was held for the first time in the region.

He called upon CII to join hands with the West Bengal Government in skill development to suit the needs of industries and remain competitive globally.

Significantly, the state government has decided to set up an ITI in each block, Roy said.

C M Bachhawat, IAS, Principal Secretary, state Department of Commerce and Industries, detailed the measures the state government has undertaken to boost the industrial scenario in West Bengal.

The Commerce and Industries Department will process all proposals in 30 days, said Bachhawat.

In his welcome address, R K Agrawal, Chairman, CII Eastern Region, described the theme for the Colloquium - "Manufacturing: The Key enabler to economic growth" as most timely and appropriate.

"The growth in manufacturing sector can change the profile of any State or country since besides contributing to employment generation in a big way, the manufacturing sector also happens to be one of the most important pillars for sustainable development and inclusive growth in any economy," he said.

"Eastern Region which used to be a major manufacturing Hub for Indian economy till the late sixties, has not been able to keep the pace of manufacturing growth at the desired level despite the availability of minerals and raw materials in abundance."

"We at CII strongly suggest that serious reforms and development initiatives must be undertaken by the Central and State Governments to improve the growth of the manufacturing sector and move it towards the double digit growth trajectory in the medium to long-term period," Agrawal said.

"The Eastern Region is endowed with abundant natural resources, yet the more important factor is to harness these resources to the optimum level with adequate infrastructure support and for which internal financial resources may not be sufficient.

"Therefore, it would be extremely critical to have the inflow of funds either through FDI or through public-private partnership for creation of infrastructure support in the form of power plants, ports, roads, etc."

"Another critical factor for the overall development of manufacturing sector happens to be the skill and human capital formation. Although most of the States in Eastern India are fortunate to have a large base of skilled and unskilled human resources, yet there is an imperative need to upgrade their skills through proper training," he said.

Bikramjit Ghosh, Co Chairman Manufacturing, Innovation & Technology Sub-Committee, CII Eastern Region, delivered the vote of thanks.

Saugat Mukherjee, Regional Director, CII Eastern Region, was also present at the Colloquium.

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