Manufacturing sector key to sustainable growth: Chidambaram

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Mumbai, Dec 21: Asserting that manufacturing holds the key to sustainable economic growth in the long term, Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram today exhorted Industry captains to restore the primacy of the manufacturing sector in the Indian economy''. Speaking at a function to mark 70th year of existence of Larsen and Toubro here, Mr Chidambaram emphasised need for the growth of manufacturing sector in the country, he said:

''20 to 30 years from now manufacturing industry will be the biggest job creator and we need to focus on the sector as there will be burgeoning young work force in the country, which the service industry alone can't hold'' Drawing a parallel between the economy of two countries India and China, the Finance minister said India scores over China in areas such as human resource, trained labour, entrepreneurship and services.

Whereas China is leading in basic infrastructural areas such as land, water, electrcity, wages which are by and large administered prices, in India all these prices are driven by market forces, he said. He pointed out that biggest stumbling block in the growth of manufacturing sector in the country is the delay in implementation of infrastructural projects. ''301 projects are delayed by a month to ninty six months which has a cost overrun of Rs 48,967 crore'' he said.

He described L&T as a national sector company and urged other companies to follow the same path in nation building exercise. He dared Indian companies to ''Dream Big'' and implement projects of bigger scale which are beneficial to the country.

Of the country's total GDP, 55 per cent comes from service sector, 17 per cent from agricultural sector and the remaining 28 per cent comes from manufacturing sector.

UNI

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