National Manufacturing Policygets in-principle approval

The ambitious National Manufacturing Policy on Thursday got in-principle approval of the high level committee headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh amid serious concerns by various members, including objections by the Environment and Forests and Labour Ministries over the creation of national investment manufacturing zones (NIMZs).

Commerce and Industries Minister Anand Sharma presented the draft Manufacturing Policy prepared by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, in consultation with the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council and the Planning Commission. The policy has been finalised after stakeholder consultations with ministries, State governments and industry associations concerned, according to a release issued by the Prime Minister's Office.

Creation of NIMZs as mega investment regions equipped with world-class infrastructure has been proposed as a major policy instrument.

The Prime Minister said the policy measures proposed would reduce the compliance burden on industry. He observed that policy would have to be formulated while adequately taking care of environmental and labour welfare concerns.

He directed that these issues might be further discussed at the Ministerial level, the statement said.

He further directed that this consultation process might be completed within a month, so that the National Manufacturing Policy could be brought before the Cabinet and the final policy announced, which would send a positive message to the investing community. However, majority of the members called for further consultations on the issue before giving the policy a formal approval.

It was felt that keeping in mind the experience of the special economic zones in acquisition of land and the trouble they had to face at the local level coupled with the not so good performance, the whole concept required a detailed study before it was put in action. It was also felt that under the present scenario it would not be possible to exempt such zones from labour laws. As per the draft of the policy, the government would take steps to make industrial land available by creation of land banks.

National Investment and Manufacturing

Zones have been proposed

New policy measures will reduce the

compliance burden on industry