Andhra Pradesh to get third manufacturing zone

Hyderabad, May 25 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh will get another National Investment Manufacturing Zone (NIMZ), Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma announced Saturday.

It will come up at Ongole in Prakasam district. This will be in addition to two NIMZs already cleared in principle by the central government for Medak and Chittoor districts.

Sharma told reporters here that Andhra Pradesh would be the second state after Maharashtra to have more than two NIMZs.

The NIMZs are being set up under the National Manufacturing Policy of 2011, which aims to increase the share of the manufacturing sector in the GDP from 16 percent to 25 percent.

The centre has already given in principal approval for 12 NIMZs, which will get several incentives like exemption from capital gains tax and liberalised labour and environmental norms.

Asked about the investments being mobilised for the zones, Sharma said it could not be quantified at this juncture.

"We have made good progress over the last year. Japan, Germany, the UK, Russia and China have shown keen interest in investing and things are moving towards paperwork," he said.

The minister agreed for a third NIMZ in Andhra Pradesh after Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy made a request at a ceremony to lay foundation stone for the National Institute of Design (NID) here.

The NIMZ will be developed as integrated industrial townships of a size between 50 and 900 sq km with state of the art infrastructure and land use on the basis of zoning, clean and energy efficient technology, necessary social infrastructure and skill development facilities.

Referring to 2012-13 as the most challenging one for both global and Indian economy, Sharma expressed optimism of going back to higher growth rate of a minimum of 6 percent.

He felt that it was the manufacturing sector which has to contribute more to achieve this growth rate as agriculture contributes a stable 15 percent to GDP and service sector cannot grow beyond a point on their own without the strength of the manufacturing sector.

He said the manufacturing sector will have to provide jobs to 150 million youth who will join the work force by 2025.