India To Boost Manufacturing For Job Creation

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on April 18, his government would take steps to ensure India's manufacturing sector clocks 12% growth annually so more jobs can be created. "Our endeavor will be to create a policy framework that can and must deliver an annual rate of growth of manufacturing output of at least 12%," Singh told a business gathering in New Delhi.

"Only the manufacturing sector can provide enough jobs required to absorb the vast number of people who move out of agriculture," he said. Manufacturing output, which accounts for over 75% of industrial production, rose 9.5% in February, marginally higher than the 9.2% recorded in January. Economists are confident it will sustain 8%-9% growth in coming months.

India needs a "credible macro-economic environment", better infrastructure and supportive political and social conditions to achieve higher industrial growth, said India's ministry of commerce.

India's economy is estimated to have grown by around 8% in the financial year that ended March 31, making it the second-fastest expanding major economy after China.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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