Monday, November 29, 1999

CII chief for clear manufacturing policy

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New delhi, May 16 -- The private sector will need to be the primary driver of creating new jobs, but government needs to put in an enabling manufacturing policy with simpler clearances and approval mechanisms, said Hari S Bhartia, president, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). "Every one per cent growth in the manufacturing sector would create 20-30 million additional jobs," Bhartia told Hindustan Times. The proposed national manufacturing investment zone (NMIZ) policy addresses these issues, and therefore needs quick enactment, he said. The government has proposed the setting up of mega NMIZs to drive industrial growth in this decade. An area would be specifically delineated for the establishment of manufacturing facilities for domestic and export led production, along with associated services and infrastructure. The objective for setting up NMIZs is to increase the sectoral share of manufacturing in gross domestic product (GDP) to 25 per cent by 2022, make the country a hub for both domestic and international markets. "There is need for an enabling manufacturing policy with simpler clearances, appropriate infrastructure and flexible labour rules," said Bhartia, who is the co-chairman of pharmaceutical firm, Jubilant Organosys Ltd. "Land acquisition and relief and rehabilitation laws should be in keeping with the requirement of industrialisation," he said. The CII president said lack of world-class infrastructure is holding back the Indian economy from achieving its full potential. "There is a need to improve dispute resolution mechanism for road development. Besides, there is need to corporatise major ports and improve port evacuation facilities." The industry also wants an early rollout of the proposed nation-wide goods and services tax (GST). "The industry will take not more than three months to switch over to the new GST system. It will make the system more efficient."The proposals, if adopted, can dramatically alter tax administration by giving a one-shot solution to a welter of levies such as excise, value added tax and octroi. However, its implementation faces political hurdles with state governments still struggling to hammer out a consensus on contentious administrative and conceptual issues.

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