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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 1, 2007
PM 'puzzled' by regional imbalance in industrial development and urbanization
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PM 'puzzled' by regional imbalance in industrial development and urbanization

Emphasising the need for credible policy solutions to reduce the regional imbalance in industrial development and urbanization in India, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said he was puzzled by this persisting imbalance.

New Delhi, May 1 : Emphasising the need for credible policy solutions to reduce the regional imbalance in industrial development and urbanization in India, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said he was "puzzled" by this persisting imbalance.

Inaugurating the Institute for Studies in Industrial Development (ISID) campus here today, Singh said that industrial development must spread to new regions, especially in northern and eastern India.

"I am also puzzled by the persisting regional imbalance in industrial development and urbanization in India. We need credible policy solutions to help us reduce these imbalances.

Industrial development must spread to new regions, especially in northern and eastern India.

What are the lessons we can learn from the experience of western and southern India? What are the lessons we can draw from the growth of new enterprise?" he said.

Asserting that India was destined to emerge as an important industrial power, Singh said that finding meaningful solutions to the problems of mass unemployment and underdevelopment was possible only through rapid industrialization.

However, he added that with nearly 70 per cent of India's population living in rural areas, the government had to lay adequate emphasis on increasing agricultural output and agricultural productivity.

Singh went on to say that there was also the need to focus on the role of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) in industrial development.

"We cannot depend on a few large industrial houses and capitalists for driving our industrialization process. The employment intensive nature and the greater regional spread of Small and Medium Enterprises makes them an attractive option for our industrial growth processes," he said.

Stressing on the need to address the concerns of those who may see themselves as losers in the in the process of industrialization, the Prime Minister said that we must learn to address their concerns and assuage them to the extent possible.

"Industrialisation ought to be a win-win process of social transformation and economic development. A developing country like ours cannot afford to view industrialization as a negative phenomenon.

There are as I said, areas of concern, like displacement of people, like environmental damage, like alienation of the working class. These concerns must be dealt with, and remedied but one cannot throw the baby out with the bathwater," he added.

Pointing out that another challenge before the country was to generate employment on large scale in the industrial sector, Singh put forward some questions to ponder over.

"How can we ensure that our manufacturing sector generates new jobs and remains competitive not just globally but also with in our own region of South Asia and South East Asia?

Are our labour laws in fact inhibiting the growth of new businesses?

If so, where and how? How do we create not just skilled jobs but unskilled ones to help agricultural workers make the transition to industrialisation?

What kind of industries must be encouraged to grow and what can public policy do to help in their growth?" Singh asked.

ANI

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