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Last updated: 16 Mar, 2021  

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Bikky Khosla | 16 Mar, 2021

The Centre last week started inviting applications for the second round of large-scale electronics manufacturing under the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, which is expected to promote production of high value products in the country and increase value addition in exports. The application window will remain open till March 31 which may be further extended. The first round of the scheme, which was open for receiving applications till July 31, attracted participation from several global majors.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Modi, addressing a webinar, said that the scheme is expected to increase India's production by USD 520 billion in the next five years. Sounds encouraging. The scheme received Cabinet approval last year and in this year's Budget, about Rs 2 lakh crore was earmarked for it for the next five years. This amount reflects the priority of the government. The prime minister also pointed out that industrial incentives are now targeted and performance based, instead of being open ended input-based subsidies, under this scheme.

Over the last few years, several steps have been taken to boost manufacturing. In Budget 2021-22, announcements have been made on setting up seven Mega Investment Textiles Parks. Also, the National Infrastructure Pipeline is expected to boost infrastructure. Similarly, measures involving industrial corridors, National Master Plan on multi-modal connectivity infrastructure, Fund of Funds and Seed Fund, Industrial development schemes for industrially backward regions, etc. are welcome decisions.

According to latest data, our manufacturing activity eased a little in February compared to January. However, overall the sector is currently doing good as firms lifted input inventories at record pace with strong growth in sales and production. No doubt, the economy is recovering, and so is the sector, but what will be decisive in the long-run is concentrated effort from the government to promote the sector, with focus on cutting down compliance burden and improving ease of doing business.

I invite your opinions.

 
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