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Centre expects private sector to invest in mega-projects: Nirmala

Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry (independent Charge) Nirmala Sitharaman said on Friday that private industries need to invest in mega-projects and they will be provided all necessary supports from the Government in this regard.  Sitharaman, who was participating in a session on ‘Corporate Engagement’, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), here on Friday said that the Government is willing to provide necessary assistance if the private sector comes up with big industrial projects like BHEL.

Assuring help to industries which wanted to start defence-based industrial cluster in the same corridor, she said, “You let me know the opportunities, and I will try to help you on forming defence-based industrial clusters in Madurai-Tuticorin corridor.”  

Referring to the fireworks industries in Sivakasi which had the potential to do business worth Rs 5,000 crore, she said, “Fireworks industries should improve their quality and variety besides changing manufacturing technique, diversify them to compete with the Chinese fireworks sector.” 

All products (other than fireworks) in India should be of good quality to compete with ones imported, she added. Regarding the Skill Development Programme, the minister said the Centre wanted to develop skilled labour of international standards.

“Once we certify a person as a skilled labourer, he should be accepted as the same in any country in the world. He should be of international quality in terms of his or her skill,” she said.

On oil prices, she said, the Centre did not reduce the price of oil despite a steep fall in the international market to invest more on infrastructure building. Discussing the problems faced by the tyre industries in getting advance licence for rubber procurement, she said the import of rubber was tied to the issue of enabling the poor rubber farmers get better price for their produce.

Rubber prices have fallen, but it was not reflected in the price of tyres, she said. Stressing the need for making products that had Zero defect, the Minister said, “You should follow the mantra of zero defect, zero effect (on environment) to become best exporter.” 

“Various efforts of the government ensured that Indian economy grew by seven per cent, despite the fact that the global economy was slowing down and contracting.” The scope for export was declining, forcing government to focus on local market, she said.

According to her, the Chinese were heavily subsidising their products. They (Chinese) had produced in excess, keeping in mind three year requirement. They were helping their industries export. Despite all this the Indian economy was growing at 7 per cent, she observed.
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