Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Manufacturing, Ancillarisation, Educational Hubs in Garhwal, Kumaon, skill gurukuls for BPL dropouts : Growth Mantra for Uttarakhand

Written by Anil Singh

Just a few months away from the Assembly elections in Uttarakhand (which are due in February next year), the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has released a growth agenda or a Growth Mantra for Uttarakhand, which, the industry body wants all political parties to follow.

Of course, with an objective to sustain the growth momentum.

The document prepared by CII Uttarakhand state council, which suggests specific policy measures, initiatives and projects to politicians, and hails the state for having a remarkable growth in the past few years; hopes that if its recommendations are implemented then the state will continue sustain the growth momentum of the last one decade of its existence (Official Data shows that, Uttarakhand has achieved remarkable growth 11.5 percent during the past few years. This growth is largely fueled by the manufacturing sector. The sector in the state grew at 27.5 per cent per annum as against the national average of 9.5 per cent).

So what is the growth agenda or growth mantra suggested by CII to Uttarakhand politicians?

Dr S Farooq, chairman of the CII Uttarakhand council summarizes:

1)Thrust on Manufacturing and Ancillarisation: As the Uttarakhand growth is largely fueled by the manufacturing sector, hence within manufacturing, the focus will have to be on medium and small enterprises and encouraging Ancillarisation (Ancillarisation is the process of development of those industries existing solely for the big industries, for instance an antibiotics plant, can support a small manufacturer of antibiotic packaging material, or ampule, a small glass vial that is sealed after filling and used chiefly as a container for a hypodermic injection solution).

2) Focusing on Tourism so that manufacturing spreads to Uttarakhand Hills: The development of hills has to be another key focus area for achieving sustainable inclusive growth. The report suggests making tourism the mainstay of hill development. This is necessary to be able to achieve a wider geographical spread for manufacturing, believes CII Uttarakhand. Up to now, most of the new units have come up in districts of Haridwar, Udhamsingh Nagar and Dehradun, underlined the body.

3) Encouraging related manufacturing activities: Related activities like the souvenir industry, handlooms and handicrafts also need to be focused upon. MSMEs based on the local resources, for example agro based units, or units based on processing of herbs and aromatic plants should be encouraged.

4) Creating Education Hubs in Garhwal and Kumaon regions: Service sector, especially education can play a vital role in promoting hill development. The report recommends creation of ‘education hubs’, one each in Garhwal and Kumaon.

5) Good infrastructure and connectivity are essential to support the economic activity in the hills: The report emphasized that good infrastructure and connectivity are essential to support the economic activity in the hills. Besides, an investment friendly climate will also play a key role in determining what further manufacturing investment comes into the state.

6) Setting up of skill gurkuls for school dropouts from BPL: Stressing on the need of skilled manpower to support any manufacturing, the CII emphasized that the availability of skilled manpower is an important element of investment attractiveness. To achieve this goal, CII suggests setting up of skill gurkuls which are residential skill facilities for school dropouts from BPL families. A unique characteristic of the skill gurukul model will be its partnership with industry which ensure employment to the employable.

7) Apna – ghar: low cost housing scheme

8) Improving urban infrastructure

9) Hill development and environment conservation

The report has been presented by CII to state planning minister Prakash Pant, leader of the opposition Harak Singh Rawat.

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