Commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma speaks about the national manufacturing policy cleared by the Union cabinet on Tuesday. The policy, which will promote the creation of large integrated industrial townships called National Investment and Manufacturing Zones (NIMZs), aims to boost the share of manufacturing in gross domestic product to 25% by 2022. Edited excerpts:
Industry is already finding it difficult to get land. How will you ensure finding 5,000 hectares of land for an NIMZ?
First of all, it is in partnership with the states. Land banks will be created by the states; zoning of the land will be done by the states. Those states which are ready and have land will ask for NIMZs. It is a policy framework which is applicable for the zones with certain benefits and incentives. The units will also be provided single-window clearance. Second, the first seven regions have been identified under the DMIC (Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor). So that is not where they will start looking for land; land is already there. So we are not talking in abstract.
Union minister of commerce, industry & textiles Anand Sharma shakes hands with rural development minister Jairam Ramesh as they leave after attending a cabinet meeting at South Block in New Delhi on Tuesday. PTI
It is said that the tax incentives that will be provided for units within such industrial zones may lead to shifting of present industries from other areas into the zone, which would mean no additional employment generation.
I shall not comment or speculate. These will be stand-alone, integrated industrial townships. So look at the positives and let’s not speculate on the negatives.
So you will not allow shifting of present industries?
These will come up in partnership with states. We are a federal country. It is a matter of detail. We will leave it to states.
The policy says NIMZs will be sector-, location- and technology-neutral. What do you mean by that?
We are not going to specify which technology the industry needs. The emphasis is on green technology. Location-neutral means that if tomorrow Andhra Pradesh or Maharashtra is ready, we are not going to decide the location in the state (where the NIMZ will come up)...
How is the policy aiming to safeguard the interests of labour?
When it comes to closure of a unit, which leads to immediate job loss, then as per the present law, compensation for 15 days of each year spent in employment will be provided. Now, the new option under the new law is a better option; it makes it 20 days. It makes for the labour dues to be paid immediately. Because it is through the creation of a sinking fund, an insurance cover or a combination of both. So the funds will be with the special purpose vehicle (SPV). If the unit shuts down, the labour dues will be made available. Also, the SPV has been mandated for redeployment of labour within the zone. If one unit closes, there will be five others who can take them.