Sharma heads board to boost sagging manufacturing sector

The government, in a sign that it has been shaken by the slowdown in manufacturing, which is a major contributor to India's declining GDP growth, has set up a board headed by commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma to raise the share of manufacturing in the gross domestic product.

The 13-member Manufacturing Industry Promotion Board (MIPB) will include secretaries of ministries and departments such as economic affairs, revenue, labour, medium and small enterprises, road transport, and environment, as well as two industry representatives, a release from Sharma's ministry said on Sunday. The industry secretary will be the member secretary.

The board may invite the industry ministers of various states as and when required, the statement said. It would periodically review the manufacturing sector, which contributes nearly 15 per cent to the GDP.

In neighbouring China, manufacturing accounts for 40 per cent of the GDP.

India's GDP growth plummeted to a nine-year low of 5.3 per cent in the last quarter of 2011-12, not least because of a 0.3 per cent contraction in manufacturing. The annual growth for the 2011-12 fiscal was also a nine-year low of 6.5 per cent.

"The high-level inter-ministerial nature of the board will enable it to resolve coordination issues among central ministries on the one hand and state governments and central ministries on the other," the ministry release said.