India is likely to implement a manufacturing policy by the end of 2008 to counter cheap imports and boost competitiveness of the manufacturing sector, which currently contributes nearly 16 per cent to its GDP. A manufacturing policy will mean that ministries like finance or commerce will have to align their policies accordingly. A high-powered group headed by V Krishnamurthy, Chairman, National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC) will submit a report, recommending measures to boost productivity in the manufacturing sector. Key recommendations of the group will include easing of FDI norms for small-scale sector to increase access to institutional credit for the SMEs. The manufacturing sector grew by 8.6 per cent in 2007-08 due to high interest rates and cheaper imports caused by appreciation in the Rupee against the Dollar. “India needs to be an exporter of finished goods rather than raw material. This will result in value-addition within the country,” said Krishnamurthy.
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