Business & Economy

Sharma says boost to manufacturing needed to address challenge of job creation

NetIndian News Network

Mumbai, February 20, 2013

Union Minister for Commerce & Industry Anand Sharma today said that the share of manufacturing in the gross domestic product (GDP) must climb up to 26 per cent from the current 16 per cent to address the challenge of job creation. 

Speaking at an interactive session on "Transforming India: Role of Youth" organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) at the St Xavier's College here, he said the National Manufacturing Policy was one of the key instruments to achieve this goal. 
Mr Sharma admitted that creation of jobs was a major challenge before the nation, and therefore it was necessary to go back to high rate of economic growth of around 9 per cent per annum.
“High growth is not an option, but an imperative. The larger issue is not just numbers but the social dimension. If we fail to address the issue of job creation, the social cost will be unbearable,” he said.
The Minister used the opportunity to brief the students about the National Skill Development Mission which has set an ambitious target of imparting job skills to 500 million persons by the year 2022. 
Underlining the seriousness of the government in making India a major manufacturing hub, he said it was in the process of establishing 12 standalone world class industrial townships across the country. 
Terming the upcoming Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) as the biggest industrial infrastructure project in the world at the moment, Mr Sharma said that 9 of the 12 industrial townships fell under DMIC, with Dholera Industrial Centre in Gujarat, at 900 sq km, being the largest. 
“We have gone beyond the drawing board. Master Plans for seven projects have already been completed,” he said.
Emphasising the importance of technology, Mr Sharma said that “the world is changing, and technology is leading the change.” He said that the government has placed immense importance on technology development and has drawn up plans to double expenditure on R&D from the current 1 per cent of GDP to 2 percent of GDP.
New IITs, IIITs, National Institutes of Designs and so on, which are being established, would address the growing needs of youth to prepare them to take up the challenge, he said.
Mr Sharma told the youth that the decades ahead presented immense opportunities for India. He said that “with ageing West, and China following suit, India, with a large young population, will have 57 million surplus skilled workers ready to absorb job opportunities across the world”. 
He said that economic integration was a necessity in the present globalised world, and India has engaged with the rest of the world through comprehensive economic partnership agreements with several countries including ASEAN and African nations. He said that in a multi-polar world, India’s trade relations have diversified, with ASEAN accounting for $ 80 billion and Africa accounting for $ 70 billion.
“We are no more dependent only on the developed world alone,” he said, indicating that the South-South cooperation is going to grow further in coming years. 
Calling the attention of students to the two important visits to Mumbai and Delhi – by French President Francoise Hollande and British Prime Minister David Cameron, he said that "the world is looking at us and India must capitalise on its strengths to assume global leadership in the 21st century.” 
On the issue of corruption and scams, the Minister said that India has in place an effective mechanism in the form of free judiciary to fix the problem. He cited the example of Satyam and said that the government was able to facilitate transfer of ownership in a transparent manner, at the same time protecting over 20 thousand jobs. He said, unfortunately, only the negatives get magnified and positives are not reported by the media. 
The CII initiative of engaging youth in economic development was attended by over 500 students of St. Xavier's College.
Former President of CII and Vice President Tata Steel, Mr. B Muthuraman, CEO of Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, Mr. Amitabh Kant and Principal of St. Xavier College, Fr. Fraser Mascerenhas were also present. 

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