Bangalore, Jan 20 (IANS) As the backbone of the Indian Industry, the manufacturing sector should create about 100 million jobs over the next 15 years to sustain a high growth rate, Planning Commission member Arun Maira said Thursday.
'Since the manufacturing sector had jobless growth in the last decade, the Planning Commission has set a target for the industry to create about 100 million jobs by 2025 to fuel the economy and sustain the gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate over nine percent,' Maira said at an industry trade fair here.
Inaugurating the South Asia's largest machine tool industry at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) on the outskirts of the city, Maira said the manufacturing sector's growth should be two-four percent higher than that of the economy to ensure that the GDP grew by 9-10 percent this decade.
'We followed the ideology of leaving it to market to create jobs. We need policies not to protect any sector of the industry but encourage and nurture them as Japan, South Korea and China did recently and Germany and the US a century ago,' Maira told the about 1,000 delegates participating in the 15th Indian Metal-cutting Machine Tool Exhibition (Imtex 2011), organised by the Indian Machine Tool Manufacturer's Association (IMTMA).
Listing out the challenges facing the sector to grow at an exponential rate and create millions of jobs, the member said the first was to overcome the infrastructure deficit, especially in transport and power, followed by urbanisation, overseas funds, better governance and simplification of procedures for land acquisition,
'The other challenges are development of hard and soft skills through public-private partnership, as the industry will require millions of skilled people for innovation and capacity expansion. Infusion of latest technology through collaborations and partnerships, including joint ventures,' Maira asserted.
Automotive Component Manufacturers' Association of India (ACMA) vice-president Arvind Kapur said the machine tools industry had to expand production capacity exponentially to meet the demand of the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and their ancillaries, including small and medium enterprises in the supply chain.
According to a recent study by ACMA, the automobile industry is projected to grow at 25-30 percent over the next 5-10 years. Sale of passenger cars is expected to grow to 5.5 million units per annum by 2015 from 2.7 million units this fiscal (2010-11) and to 10 million units by 2020.
Similarly, sale of two-wheelers is expected to be 20 million units by 2015 from 12.5 million units in this fiscal and 30 million units by 2020. Sale of heavy and light commercial vehicles is projected to be one million units by 2015 from 0.5 million units this fiscal and 2.2 million units by 2020.
'The automotive component manufacturers will have to invest $2-3 billion every year to meet the projected demand of the OEMs. To enable us to delivery the components required over the next five to 10 years, the machine tools industry has to scale up seven-eight times its production capacity,' Kapur said at the conference.