PM panel pitches for separate manufacturing policy

September 20th, 2008 - 7:56 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 20 (IANS) A top panel set up by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has sought a separate policy for the manufacturing sector, currently growing sluggishly. The panel, which submitted the report Saturday, has justified the need for a manufacturing policy, saying it will accelerate industrial growth.“The policy will ensure focussed attention by the government to various aspects to achieve the goals of manufacturing and employment generation,” said a senior official in the prime minister’s office (PMO).

India’s manufacturing sector logged 7.5 percent growth in July this year as compared to 8.8 percent in the corresponding month last year. The manufacturing sector is the economy’s growth engine.

The prime minister’s panel headed by National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC) chairman V. Krishnamurthy has set a manufacturing growth target of 12 to 14 percent for the economy in the short to medium term adding the growth should be nine to 10 percent in the long term.

“The growth of the manufacturing sector has been stagnating at an average of around seven to 7.5 percent for the past 20 years,” the panel has said in the report.

The manufacturing sector contributed only 5.6 percent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth in April-June of the current fiscal as against 10.9 percent in the last corresponding period.

“In order to achieve an average economic growth rate of nine to 10 percent in the medium to long term, the manufacturing sector needs to grow at about 12 to 14 percent,” the panel has recommended, according to an official press communiqué from the PMO.

The panel has also recommended creating “a continuing mechanism suitably empowered to monitor the developments in the manufacturing sector on a regular basis”.

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