New Delhi: In a bid to boost manufacturing and exports, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday laid out a road map of measures including raising steel production capacity to 300 million tonnes and raising textile exports by 30 percent to tackle plummeting rupee.
At a meeting of High-Level Committee on Manufacturing, here, it was decided that push should be given to creation of domestic manufacturing capabilities as part of economic revival.
Addressing the meeting, Singh said "Often, our production is at the lower end of the value chain. Our exports consist of raw materials and primary goods and our imports consist overwhelmingly of manufacturing.
Asserting that sustained growth in manufacturing was critical if the country has to grow at 8-9 percent, he said "We need to remedy this situation by removing the bottlenecks that hinder our progress in manufacturing and taking full advantage of our strengths."
Singh also gave a go-ahead to building of 70-100 seater civilian aircraft, a dream project which has been in the pipeline for years and a pilot project for electric and hybrid vehicles in Delhi by August.
The Committee decided that steps will be taken to build 300 million tonnes of steel capacity through Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) of Central Public Sector Enterprises with states by 2025. The Steel Ministry would prepare a road map with time lines for the purpose in eight weeks.
This will be a significant jump in the targeted capacity-building as steel production this year is expected to be 120 million tonnes. The capacity was 89 million tonnes in 2011-12.
The meeting also decided that quick decisions would be taken on raising textile exports by 30 percent this year. In the last fiscal, textiles exports were about USD 34 billion.
An Inter-Ministerial Group under Secretary (Textiles) will work out the Action Plan in four weeks.
These decisions are crucial as these come against the backdrop of the government's keenness to boost manufacturing and exports amidst falling value of the rupee. The rupee yesterday hit the all-time low when it crossed the 61 mark.
Singh said manufacturing has to be the backbone of the growth strategy over the next decade.
"We are witnessing a major shift in the structure of our economy. Agriculture, which continues to account for more than 50 percent of our population, today constitutes less than 15 percent of our GDP.
"If we have to grow at 8-9 percent in the future, this has to come through sustained growth in manufacturing, particularly labour-intensive manufacturing. Manufacturing and manufacturing alone can absorb all those who need better livelihood opportunities," he said.
First Published: Tuesday, July 9, 2013, 17:16