IBEF: December 26, 2013
New Delhi: The Amritsar - Delhi - Kolkata Industrial Corridor project will be posed to the Union Cabinet soon for approval, Mr. Anand Sharma, Minister for Commerce and Industry, announced here today while inaugurating the 86th Annual General Meeting of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
The structural and financing arrangements required to operationalise the project have been tied up with the Japanese Government coming in as a strong partner.
The Amritsar - Kolkata Industrial Corridor is patterned on the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC). The Corridor will use the Eastern dedicated Freight Corridor as the backbone. The Eastern DFC extends from Ludhiana in Punjab to Dankuni near Kolkata. Therefore, the Amritsar - Delhi - Kolkata Industrial Corridor will be structured around the Eastern DFC and also the Highway system that exists on this route. It will also leverage the Inland Waterway System being developed along National Waterway - 1 which extends from Allahabad to Haldia.
The project will cover the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. This is one of the most densely populated regions in the world and houses about 40% of India's population. This is a region which needs a major push for industrialization and job-creation and the Amritsar - Delhi - Kolkata Industrial Corridor will act as a catalyst for this growth. The corridor will cover the cities of Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Ambala, Saharanpur, Delhi, Roorkee, Moradabad, Bareilly, Aligarh, Kanpur, Lucknow, Allahabad, Varanasi, Patna, Hazaribagh, Dhanbad, Asansol, Durgapur and Kolkata.
Additionally, the Bengaluru-Mumbai Economic Corridor (BMEC) Project in on course with the DMIDC seeking international bids fore Request for Qualification (RfQ)-cum-Request for Proposal (RfP) for selection of consultant for preparation of a perspective plan for the project. The United Kingdom is strongly supporting the project.
Mr. Sharma said these projects, which will draw large amount of investments from industrialized nations will give the much-needed boost to the manufacturing sector in India and are expected to give a fillip to India’s quest from raising the share of manufacturing from the current level of 16% to 25% of GDP by 2025.
The Minister said that the focus on manufacturing should be the first priority for the country if the 150 million people that are expected to join the workforce by 2025 were to be gainfully employed.
Mr. Sharma said that much was happening on the ground and the Government has taken major policy decisions post-2010. These positives have been suppressed by the ‘shrill and noisy' narrative on India where every decision taken by the Government became suspect.
Issues of governance should be left to the people to judge, Mr. Sharma said and emphatically added, “Let this not be a daily indictment of the Government.”
In her address, Ms. Naina Lal Kidwai, President of FICCI, spelt out the priorities that must be taken on board to put economic growth back on track.
First, dealing with food inflation calls for a quantum jump in food productivity, straightening kinks in agri-supply and distribution and reducing wastages. Second, for reducing the cost of doing business in India, there is an imperative need for a a comprehensive Goods and Services Tax. Third, speedier implementation of large infrastructure projects calls for action on many fronts. Fourth, the administration of taxation system of the country requires a mind-set change. As long as actions are driven by a single point agenda of maximising revenues, we will always be drawn towards litigation. Fifth, on the issue of energy security, there is need to follow a diversification strategy in terms of sources of energy as well as geographies from where we will source these. Sixth, land is essential for industrial expansion and our land related policies should ensure that this resource is available to industry on a long term basis and with certainty. Seventh, the process of allocation of natural resources should be transparent and predictable and that there should be a justifiable balance between revenue optimisation and socio-economic development objectives. Eighth, businesses require an environment of predictability that can only be ensured if there is sanctity of contract, stability in the tax regime and applicability of legislations prospectively.
“Our businesses have a long history of engagement with communities around them and many understand what is good for the community is good for business. Entrepreneurs should therefore be treated fairly and with respect. They should be part of the collective effort involving both the government and civil society that is aimed at realising the true potential of India,” she said.
“It is necessary”, Ms. Kidwaid said, “to address the structural and economic problems that we face, it is also important to recognise that there are social issues that have to be dealt with as well. We must work to protect the pluralism that is India, to ensure an inclusive India in all we do.”
Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.