These days news regarding implementation of sixth pay commission is hogging the limelight in print as well as mass electronic media of the state. Only a few days back a highly level committee, constituted for the purpose by the new govt. had a meeting with the Planning Commission of India where the said commission is reported to have bluntly refused to give money on this count and asked the state govt. to generate its own resources. Moot question is wherefrom the state will generate its resources when it already has a debt burden of Rs. 13000 crores inherited from the previous regime clubbed with a meagre total income of Rs. 26,700 crores, out of which Rs. 5000 crores alone go to the govt. employees as their monthly wages.
Resources can be generated only through sustained economic development achieved through robust industrial development of the state. This cannot be achieved overnight. For this to happen, state govt. has to chalk out policies and procedures for the next five years, by means of which an economic growth rate of 7% to 9% can be achieved by promoting the rapid growth of a market driven, knowledge based, efficient and competitive industrial sector. This can be done by providing industry access to high quality infrastructure, extending institutional support for technology upgradation, deregulating the business environment for an efficient, proactive and transparent administrative framework and catalysing the entrepreneurial as well as creative capabilities of the human resources. State government should therefore aim to achieve an average industrial growth rate of around 10% per year and attract investments of at least Rs.10,000 Crores per year and create, on an average, employment potential of at least 1.0 lakh per year.
In achieving this goal, the focus will have to be on the following OBJECTIVES:
a) Encourage rapid growth of sectors and markets in which J&K has strategic advantages.
b) Enhance value addition in products and processes through rapid technological upgradation.
c) Enable optimal utilisation of capacity and resources in different sectors viz., Hydroelectricity, Food Processing, Floriculture, Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry, Minerals and Human capital.
d) Enable industry to access new markets – domestic, national and export - through new products that meet global standards of quality and competitiveness.
e) Give impetus to knowledge based industries like Information Technology, Biotechnology, Electronics & Communication, Medical Engineering etc and the service sector.
f) Create a market driven environment with the private sector being the primary engine for growth.
g) Provide Industry access to high quality infrastructure, including uninterrupted power and water supply, good roads, adequate transportation facilities, telecommunication facilities, subsidies, incentives, heavy discounts on loans, excite duty waivers, other duty cuts, raw materials (wherever essential) etc.
h) Fully tap the potential of the Small Scale Sector and encourage establishment of new tiny and Small Scale Industries, particularly in the rural areas with the help of establishments like Khadi & Village Board to achieve the twin objectives of employment generation and utilisation of local resources. Again provide heavy discounts on loans, duty cuts, subsidies and attractive incentives to the budding entrepreneurs.
Towards this end government must undertake, through an expert group, a detailed study of the small scale industrial sector in the state to ascertain their present status; problems and prospects and come out with a separate policy on employment generation in the industrial sector which among other things would also include a suitable incentive scheme linked to employment generation. This study may be completed in another six months’ time
In order to achieve these objectives the following strategy will have to be adopted:
a) Forge a strong partnership with the private sector in all aspects of Industrial development and its implementation to provide for a demand driven decision making process in an increasingly market oriented economy.
b) Create a policy framework to facilitate competitiveness of local industry and enabling ease of doing business.
c) Enhance public and private expenditure to build efficient and competitive Industrial infrastructure.
d) Give impetus to technology upgradation by forging symbiotic and mutually beneficial institutional arrangements between Government, Academic/R&D Institutions and Industry.
e) Focus on catalyzing comparative advantages that J&K has in the global market by increasing its exports in handicrafts including carpets, shawls, paper machie items, wood carving items etc, floriculture, medicinal and aromatic plants, food processing, electronics and communication, gem stones and minerals.
f) Assist the tiny, small and medium scale industries to upgrade their technologies and manufacturing processes to face the increasing competition; and
In my next post I shall discuss in detail various specific necessary measures needed for infrastructural development, technology upgradation and human resource development of the state that are pivotal for a sustained growth of our industrial sector as well as our overall economy. Good bye till then...........