It’s finally happening. After 26 long years, the industrial policy of 1991 is finally being revamped to keep it in line with the changes the country and the industry has seen over the last two decades.
According to PTI, The Department of industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), under the commerce and industry ministry, has formed six different groups with members including academicians, representatives of professional firms and government officials to come together and work towards preparing India’s new industrial policy that includes startups, innovation, taxation, MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises), among many other things.
According to the time frame set by the DIPP, the draft of the the new industrial policy, that the six groups are currently working on, would be ready by September this year itself.
While taxation, MSME, Startups and innovation and technology are the centre of attention for the new industrial policy, the six groups have also been given the additional responsibility of preparing reports on India’s ease of doing business, infrastructure status, intellectual property rights (IPRs) and employability of future workforce.
According to PTI’s source, the new industrial policy will specifically embrace the various flagship programmes launched by the Modi government during their tenure till now. These include the famous ones such as Make in India, Skill India, Startup India and the foreign direct investment norms.
With Industrial Revolution 4.0 knocking at our doors and the manufacturing scene undergoing a massive change, it was high time that the commerce and industry ministry heeded to these changes and moved towards a more modern industry policy.
While the First Industrial Revolution made use of water and steam power to mechanise production, the second one turned to electric power to create mass production. The third industrial revolution which we were embracing since the middle of the last century dealt with digital revolution. And now, the mankind is on to the fourth industrial revolution, which is somewhere built on the Third industrial revolution and deals with use of modern technologies, artificial intelligence and robotics in manufacturing. The fourth industrial revolution is working towards bridging the lines between the physical, biological, and digital spheres.
According to DIPP, since 1991, the industrial policy has worked mainly towards facilitating the industrial development in the Indian subcontinent rather than having its reigns through numerous permits and controls.
In the post-World War II period, India was the first developing country to have developed a full-fledged industrial policy for itself. The aim of the policy back then was to bring co-ordination into investment decisions both in the public and the private sectors and to bring the reigns of the economy under the state by bringing certain strategic industries and firms under public ownership. This industrialisation model held its stand for three decades, from 1950-1980. But, in 1980s it slowly began to erode, and the external liquidity crisis back then made way for the currently in function industrial policy of 1991. [Ajit Singh: 2008]