The government is working on policy initiatives, along with fiscal incentives, to boost industrial growth and job creation, commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu said on Thursday. Prabhu said the proposed new industrial policy is being firmed up, factoring in the fast pace of change in the profile as well as the process of manufacturing in India. Perhaps hinting at challenges from rising automation in manufacturing worldwide, the minister said, “We are working on (policy measures on) some of the emerging industries.”
“We are taking a lot of policy measures. I am personally working with the ministry of finance, NITI Aayog and all other government institutions to provide necessary policy as well as fiscal support to ensure the industry can actually produce far more than what they are doing today, which will create jobs,” Prabhu told reporters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) India Economic Summit, amid expectations that the government could come up with a package to prop up the economy.
Sectors after sectors are being studied to find out the scope for improvement and appropriate policy response are being adopted, he said. The minister also said the entrepreneurial spirit of the private sector has a prominent place in the country’s growth story. “Our aspiration is to become one of the easiest places to do business. My business is to make sure others do their business,” he said.
Though Prabhu didn’t elaborate on the broad contours of the new industrial policy, FE had earlier reported that it would draw elements from programmes such as Digital India and Skill India and help create jobs by not just the government but also the industry and start-ups.
The policy will also factor in emerging challenges as well as opportunities that Industry 4.0, which envisages increased automation at factories and a greater confluence of the real and the virtual worlds, have thrown up before policymakers.
Last year, a report by advisory analyst firm HfS Research said the maximum impact of the emergence of intelligent automation will be felt on the global industry of 15 million IT services and BPO workers, which will see about 1.4 million job losses — a net decrease of 9% — by 2021. In India, the services industry workforce could dwindle by 4.8 lakh by 2021. Even Gartner had predicted in 2015 that one in three jobs will be converted to software, robots and smart machines by 2025.
The country needs a new policy and serious implementation to boost manufacturing, as six years after the National Manufacturing Policy (NMP) 2011 was announced, the target of driving up the share of manufacturing to 25% of GDP by 2022 from 16% and creating 100 million fresh jobs looks improbable. The share of manufacturing in GDP remains around 16% even now and the concept of National Investment and Manufacturing Zones, advocated by the NMP, barely clicked.
Look beyond Q1 GDP figure: DIPP secretary
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