To resolve the differences among ministries over the National Manufacturing Policy (NMP), the government has constituted a group of ministers (GoM) headed by agriculture minister Sharad Pawar.
Last week, the Cabinet had deferred a decision on the policy, which aims at increasing the share of manufacturing in the GDP from 16% at present to 25% by 2025, after the ministries of environment and industry failed to build a consensus on some issues.
The environment ministry had objected to the proposal that each unit in the National Manufacturing and Investment Zone (NMIZ) to be created under the policy would have to take the environment impact assessment certificate before it could start operations. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), which moved the Cabinet note, was for a more liberal regime under which once a zone is cleared by the environmental authorities, each unit therein won’t need individual approvals.
The labour ministry too had expressed reservations over some flexibilities proposed in the policy draft, including a proposal to allow a service entity ? a special purpose vehicle – to obtain the statutory labour-related clearances for SMEs in the proposed NMIZs.
According to highly placed sources, besides Pawar, the GoM would comprise environment minister Jayanthi Natrajan, labour minister Mallikarjun Kharge, commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma, law minister Salman Khurshid and minister for micro, small and medium enterprises Virbhadra Singh.
Sources said DIPP secretary RP Singh has written to the Cabinet secretariat over the alleged backtracking by the environment ministry.
The manufacturing policy, a flagship initiative of the UPA-II government, aims at creating 220 million jobs in the next 15 years by bolstering the manufacturing sector in the country?s services-dominated economy.