Delhi's polluting industries to be made hi-tech

"The new industrial policy provides that the existing industrial units engaged in low-skilled activities graduate to high-tech and knowledge-based industries," says Delhi's Industries Commissioner Chetan Sanghi. "However, the policy does not provide for closure of existing industries but the government will act as a facilitator for upgrading of technology," Sanghi said commenting on the capital's first industrial policy in two decades. According to him, the government will persuade industrial units engaged in businesses under the prohibited category to reorient their activities to conform to the provisions in the 2021 Master Plan-Delhi.

The government plans to do so by providing training and financial support to such units. "The policy envisages transformation of existing industries to knowledge-based ones through skills development, upgradation of technology, and tailor-made training programmes for entrepreneurs," said Sanghi who is also Chairman-cum-Managing Director of the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC). A total of 98 industrial activities -- including manufacturing of acids, animal and fish oils, cement, explosives, automobiles and cranes and other lifting equipment -- fall in the prohibited category.

Units still engaged in these businesses will have to ensure they operate in areas under a relocation programme introduced in 1996 by the government, which does not plan to offer any more such schemes. "Units in non-conforming areas had a fair chance to apply for alternate plots under the relocation scheme of 1996. But given the past experience, another relocation scheme is not envisaged in the policy," said Sanghi.

"The effort would be to ensure that all allottees construct the factory building and start manufacturing activities at the relocated site," he added. "With the thrust on clean, high-tech and knowledge based industries, only skilled work force would be able to migrate to Delhi from the adjoining states. We would also like to upgrade the skills of the existing workforce." The industrial policy also suggests setting up of special economic zones (SEZs) and easy credit from financial institutions like the Delhi Financial Corp.

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