Anand Sharma releases strategy paper prepared by E&Y

Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma on Tuesday said that industry should aspire to achieve a three-fold increase in engineering exports to $110 billion by 2014.

Releasing a strategy paper commissioned by Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) and prepared by global consultants Ernst & Young here, Mr. Sharma said “This, indeed, is a robust target and if the engineering sector is able to maintain its share of nearly 22 per cent in total exports, $110 billion is certainly achievable.”

In 2008-09, engineering exports stood at $37.85 billion. The share of engineering items in total exports was much lower than that of the developed world, the paper said. In 2008, engineering exports contributed 23.6 per cent to the overall exports of the country. Due to the global slump in demand, overall exports contracted for 13 consecutive months since October 2008, before turning positive from November 2009.

Engineering exports are estimated to have declined by about 20 per cent in the last fiscal.

Mr. Sharma said the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) was now conducting a sectoral review, which is expected to be completed soon. Once the report was available, the Government would take a considered view for any kind of policy intervention.

The paper suggested that the government should give incentives for modernisation and induction of new technology at manufacturing facilities under the TUFS (Technology Upgradation Fund) scheme. The government should also set up a skill development fund to impart training in areas where technology upgradation is being initiated to enhance productivity and quality.

Mr. Sharma said the Government was open to changing FDI (foreign direct investment) norms for multi-brand retail sector stating that policies were not cast in stones.

“Policies are not cast in stones. Once they are made, they keep on evolving, responding to the emerging scenario,” Mr. Sharma added. He said consultations with stakeholders on the new manufacturing policy which proposed flexibility to the industry for hire and fire in special industrial zones, were almost complete.

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