Govt to drive in with new mission plan for auto sector

New Delhi, Dec 22 | Updated: Dec 23 2005, 05:30am hrs
Three years after its auto policy opened up the Indian market to many global players, the government is all set to formulate a new mission plan to convert the country into a global hub for vehicles and components.The 10-year Plan will involve formulation of policy and reorientation of fiscal measures, Santosh Mohan Dev, minister, heavy industries and public enterprises said on Thursday, addressing the Parliamentary consultative committee.

This will be the first major initiative by the government to boost the auto sector since its auto policy approved in March, 2002, had fully delicensed the automobile sector and opened it up to 100% foreign direct investment.

The new plan is expected to simplify procedures for investment in the automotive sector both for Indian and foreign players. The industry currently has a turnover of Rs 165,000 crore and employs 1.3 crore people.

With four lakh units exported in the first half of the current year, India is already emerging as an outsourcing base for components with several foreign companies establishing bases here.

The government has decided to provide one-time public investment of Rs 1,718 crore to the National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project (Natrip), which will operate on a self-sufficient model. Mr Dev said that all the seven units of Natrip, set up for developing world-class automotive testing facilities, would operate as autonomous registered societies and compete with each other.