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Govt plans to bring new manufacturing policy soon

business Updated: Jun 12, 2008 21:03 IST
Gaurav Choudhury
Gaurav Choudhury
Hindustan Times
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The government planned to bring in a new policy for the manufacturing sector later this year that would lay emphasis on skills development, a top official said.

The policy, which seeks to sustain India's industrial growth rate at double-digit levels, will be based on recommendations of a high-powered panel headed by National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council V Krishnamurthy, said the official, who did not want to be named.

India's industry continues to lose steam, with growth slowing to 7 per cent in April from 11.3 percent in the same month a year ago.

The policy would have a specific focus on labour-intensive sectors like textiles and leather with special emphasis on skills development, he said.

The government has constituted a task force on skills development to evolve a restructuring strategy.

"The Krishnamurthy panel has identified skills shortage as a critical area and the group's report is likely to envisage a specific role for the private sector in vocational education and training," said the official.

The labour ministry has 5,114 industrial training institutes and the human resources development ministry has a similar number of institutions under it. In addition, a number of other ministries and departments have training institutions in their specific areas.

Estimates suggest that around 3 per cent of the workforce in India has received some form of vocational education as compared with 60-80 per cent in the US, Europe and some countries of Asia such as South Korea and Japan.

In this year's budget speech Finance Minister P.Chidambaram proposed the setting up of a "skills development
mission" -- a non-profit corporation mandated with the task of imparting required skills to a growing economy.

The government expects to garner Rs.15,000 crore from public and private sectors, and bilateral and multilateral sources. The government has already pumped in equity of Rs.1,000 crore into the mission.

Krishnamurthy said "for the country to show balanced growth, manufacturing should account for 35 per cent of the GDP."

"The report will emphasise the need for world-class infrastructure, large-scale skills development, changes in the foreign direct investment (FDI) policy, and easy access to finance for small and medium enterprises," he said.