India, UNIDO launch projects worth 9 million dollars

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New Delhi, Aug 24 (ANI): The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) is launching new industrial projects totaling nearly nine million dollars to benefit industry in India.

Agreements on this were signed earlier this month in Vienna by Secretary of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ajay Shankar and UNIDO Director-General Dr. Kandeh K. Yumkella.

DIPP has conceptualized an Integrated Cluster Development Programme (ICDP) wherein clusters which received infrastructure interventions under its prestigious Industrial Infrastructure Upgradation Scheme (IIUS) were targeted for Technological Interventions through Technical Cooperation services of UNIDO.

The clusters selected are auto-components at Pithampura (Madhya Pradesh), Chennai and Pune; machine tools at Bangalore; foundry at Belgaum (Karnataka) and Coimbatore; chemicals at Ankhleswar (Gujarat) and leather at Kanpur. 5.9 million dollars ICDP for India will focus on technology, management, skill development and the environment.

It will be implemented by 2014 at sites in Pithampura, Chennai, Pune, Ankhleswar, Kanpur and New Delhi, matching the specific needs of each industrial location.

The programme will offer turnkey solutions to each of the identified clusters to help them address technology, quality or environmental constraints, encompassing a comprehensive package of services - ranging from energy efficiency and water conservation to cleaner production and lean manufacturing.

"Lowering the consumption of energy, raw materials and water in industry; reducing the waste and pollution intensity of enterprises; and improving the productivity of industries, leading to enhanced competitiveness - these are the essential underpinnings of the Integrated Cluster Development Programme. Through this flagship programme, the project will avail UNIDO's expertise in the key areas to achieve the vision of a green Industry".

"The 2009-2014 ICDP for India will help tackle poverty issues and contribute to environmental sustainability".

The cluster programme combines projects that will help improve resource productivity and environmental performance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in particular in automotive components, leather and chemical sectors. They will focus on enhanced market access for small and medium sized automotive component manufacturers in Indian auto-clusters. They will also enable local leather-based industry to sustain conversion of locally available raw hides and skins into exportable products either directly as genuine leather or as derived finished products - for example, footwear.

The projects will provide employment and income opportunities without jeopardizing the livelihood of the human settlements through environmental degradation, and without threatening the rapidly depleting water sources and agricultural land.

A separate project worth US three million dollars, a part of ICDP, will deal with upgrading India's machine tools industry.

According to the UNIDO, "The machine tool industry is the backbone of India's engineering sector. It has come a long way, but now needs to be further strengthened to cost-effectively produce quality machine tools through technological upgrade and market development. The Indian industry has an abundance of skilled manpower, basic raw materials, and a rising class of technical entrepreneurs. By addressing productivity, quality, reliability, service and technology, the performance of the Indian machine tool enterprises can be greatly improved."

The machine tool industry project will be implemented by the UNIDO-International Centre for Advancement of Manufacturing Technology (ICAMT) within the framework of the ongoing Country Programme of Cooperation between India and UNIDO for 2008-2012.

Project relating to foundry clusters at Belgaum and Coimbatore will be launched shortly.

The UNIDO is the only specialized agency for industrial development in the UN system and has been working with governments, business associations and private companies to solve industrial problems for more than 40 years. (ANI)

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