Centre urges states to create land banks for NIMZs

Worried over declining growth in manufacturing, the Centre on Thursday urged state governments to create land banks for setting up manufacturing zones for boosting industry and promoting job creation.

In a meeting with state chief secretaries and principal industry secretaries, commerce and Industry minister Anand Sharma said states will have to play a major role in acquiring land for setting up of world-class industrial townships.

''Land is a major issue. But states have to play the major role. Their participation is very important in that. Please create land banks for NIMZs. Lot of states have already started the process,'' he said.

Under the National Manufacturing Policy (NMP), the government has proposed to set up National Investment and Manufacturing Zones.

NIMZs are conceptualised as integrated industrial townships of at least 50 sq km (5,000 hectares) with state-of- the-art infrastructure.

At least 30% of the total land area would be devoted to manufacturing units.

The minister emphasised that without increasing the share of manufacturing sector in the economy, it would be difficult to create jobs and attract investments in the country.

The NMP aims to increasing the share of the sector to at least 25% by 2020 from the present 16%. It also aimed at creating 100 million jobs by 2020.

''We will have about 200 million young force ready to join. Beyond a point services sector cannot create employment for these many people. We have focus on manufacturing sector. We have to push the sector to new heights,'' he added.

The government has notified nine NIMZs - one each in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh; two in Rajasthan and three in Maharashtra.

''Countries like China have set up about 50 such zones. We will be happy if we set up at least 15," Sharma said.

Decline in manufacturing sector growth pulled down the overall industrial expansion to just 0.1% in July, as per the data released on Wednesday.

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