India, UNIDO sign $ 42 mn deal to boost Indian Industry

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New Delhi, May 19 (UNI) India has signed a 42 million dollars 5-year agreement with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) to boost competitiveness of Indian industries.

The 2008-12 comprehensive programme of technical cooperation has been signed to strengthen the competitiveness and productivity of industrial enterprises for generating employment and greening the industry.

Aligned with the country's 11th Plan, the five-year flagship agreement was signed by Mr Ajay Shankar, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), and by Dr Kandeh K Yumkella, Director-General UNIDO, in Vienna on May 16, Commerce Ministry said here today.

DIPP's joint secretary N N Prasad described the programme a first of its kind initiative for Indian industry at a media conference, while UNIDO's South Asia operations' head Philippe Scholtes hailed it an important milestone in India-UNIDO partnership.

The integrated programme will focus on induction of clean technologies, energy efficiency and conservation, acquisition, assimilation and development of new manufacturing technologies, water conservation, standardisation and quality management, design and intellectual property rights (IPR) issues, skill development and investment promotion.

It will lay emphasis on key manufacturing sectors, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs) clusters, in a bid to increase employment and to ensure a balanced and inclusive growth.

The programme will map SMEs' clusters and analyse action required to enhance their competitiveness at a cost of two million dollars, Mr Prasad said, adding it will cover leather, textiles, auto components, machine tools, chemicals and food processing industries.

Besides covering relatively poor Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhatisgarh and Orissa, the programme will also introduce and promote eco-business partnership in renewable energy, energy efficiency and waste management.

Building on India's expertise, technology and know-how, UNIDO Centre set up here in 2007, will seek the country's assistance for other developing countries through south-south cooperation,said Mr Scholtes.

UNI SAA MP HT1915

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