Manufacturing policy likely in few weeks

“On Friday only I signed the Cabinet note. We hope that in a few weeks from now, India will have a national manufacturing policy in place,” Sharma said at a CII event.

The policy aims to create 100 million additional jobs and take the share of manufacturing to 25 per cent of the country’s GDP by 2020 from the current 15-16 per cent.

The sector contributes over 80 per cent to the country’s overall industrial production. Sharma said that the share of 16 per cent “is too low” in comparison to other countries.

When asked by when the Cabinet is expected to take up the matter, he said: “Normally, it should not take more than two weeks. Thats what I hope.”

The policy has also proposed easing of labour and environment laws and sought tax sops for National Manufacturing Investment Zones (NMIZs). These planned big enclaves could even subsume special economic zones.

“We proposed not too many, but integrated NMIZs. They will become a reality and they will empower our country and help us to achieve the larger objective and the targets which we have set,” he said.

The minister said that millions of people are expected to join the workforce in the country in the coming years and only the manufacturing sector can create these many job opportunities. The policy aims to attract overseas investments in R&D and modern technology.

On Duty Entitlement Pass Book (DEPB) scheme, Sharma said that the finance minister would soon call a meeting “to allay any apprehension of the industry” on the popular export benefit scheme.

Following lobbying by exporters, the Finance Ministry has extended the DEPB scheme up to September-end. It was scheduled to end on June 30. Again after the apprehensions that India’s exports would not sustain the high growth rate of 40-45 per cent in the coming months in the wake on uncertainties in the US and European markets, exporters are demanding further extension of DEPB.

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