Millennium Post

PM launches mega-drive to up manufacturing capacity

With an aim to boost manufacturing and exports amid sharp fall in the rupee, the government on Tuesday decided to take a slew of steps, including enhancing steel production capacity to 300 million tonnes and raising textile exports by 30 per cent
this year.

At a meeting of high level committee, it was decided that push should be given to creation of domestic manufacturing capabilities, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying sustained growth in manufacturing is critical if the country has to grow at 8-9 per cent.
He talked about the need to remove 'bottlenecks that hinder' progress in manufacturing.

Singh also gave a go-ahead to building of 70-100 seater civilian aircraft, a dream project which has been in the pipeline for years and a pilot project for electric and hybrid vehicles in Delhi by August.

The High Level Committee on Manufacturing decided that steps will be taken to build 300 million tonnes of steel capacity through special purpose vehicles (SPVs) of Central Public Sector Enterprises with states by 2025.

The Steel Ministry would prepare a road map with time lines for the purpose in eight weeks.This will be a significant jump in the targeted capacity-building as steel production this year is expected to be 120 million tonnes. The capacity was 89 million tonnes in 2011-12.
The meeting also decided that quick decisions would be taken on raising textile exports by 30 per cent this year. In the last fiscal, textiles exports were about $34 billion.

An Inter-Ministerial Group under Secretary (Textiles) will work out the Action Plan in four weeks.These decisions are crucial as these come against the backdrop of the government's keenness to boost manufacturing and exports amidst falling value of the rupee. The rupee on Monday hit the all-time low when it crossed the 61 mark.

Addressing the meeting, Singh said manufacturing has to be the backbone of the growth strategy over the next decade.

'We are witnessing a major shift in the structure of our economy. Agriculture, which continues to account for more than 50 per cent of our population, today constitutes less than 15 per cent of our GDP.

‘If we have to grow at 8-9 per cent in the future, this has to come through sustained growth in manufacturing, particularly labour-intensive manufacturing. Manufacturing and manufacturing alone can absorb all those who need better livelihood opportunities,' he said.
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