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19 industrial clusters cleared for infrastructure scheme

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, JAN. 23. Moving ahead with reform measures, the Government has given clearance in principle to development of 19 industry clusters under the new Rs. 675 crore industrial infrastructure upgradation scheme of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion. These include the textiles cluster in Tirupur, the gems and jewellery cluster in Surat, the pharmaceuticals cluster in Hyderabad, and the wool and woollen garments cluster in Amritsar.

The decision to clear the clusters was taken here yesterday by the inter-ministerial apex committee for the first phase of the industrial infrastructure scheme. The scheme aims at enhancing international competitiveness of domestic industry by giving financial assistance for creating quality infrastructure through public-private partnerships. The scheme is being implemented in select clusters of industries like the globally renowned textile cluster in Tirupur in Tamil Nadu or the equally well known gems and jewellery units in Surat in Gujarat. The State governments will facilitate the scheme meant for industry clusters like these which have the potential to be globally competitive.

The features of the scheme include "strategic interventions'' to provide common facilities such as transport, roads, water, power, gas and fuel supply, effluent treatment and solid waste disposal. In addition to basic infrastructure, the scheme supports product design, information and communication technology and marketing infrastructure. Initially 30 clusters will be taken up for development in the Tenth Plan.

The industry clusters approved for inclusion in the scheme include an auto cluster in Vijayawada, the textiles cluster in Ludhiana, the pump, motor and foundry cluster in Coimbatore, the ceramic pottery cluster in Khurja, glass cluster in Ferozabad, textiles cluster in Panipat, wood based cluster in Srinagar, stone cluster in Kishangarh, chemicals cluster in Vapi in Gujarat, auto components cluster in Pune, steel and metallurgy cluster in Jajpur in Orissa, food processing clusters in Aizawl and Guwahati, pharma and auto cluster in Pritampura in Madhya Pradesh and an engineering cluster in Kolkata.

An Industry Ministry release says the critical feature of the new initiative is that it will be implemented through a special purpose vehicle at the individual cluster level to ensure that the infrastructure development is user driven. This arrangement is expected to ensure creation of useful assets and their sustainability through internal revenue generation mechanism.

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