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MP needs to explore potential in defence manufacturing: Prasad

Press Trust of India  |  Bhopal 

Madhya Pradesh has immense potential in defence manufacturing sector and the state can benefit with the Centre allowing 49 per cent FDI in defence field, Union Minister Ravishankar Prasad said today.

"The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has permitted 49 per cent FDI in defence manufacturing sector and 60 per cent of defence manufacturing comprises electronics. I am stating this here as Jabalpur has a very large area engaged in ordnance manufacturing and, therefore, Madhya Pradesh has immense potential in that area," Prasad told reporters before leaving for Jabalpur.

The Union Minister for Communications, IT, Law and Justice arrived here to lay the foundation stone of Electronic Manufacturing Cluster (EMC) and IT Parks at Jabalpur and Bhopal.

He urged Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to explore possibilities in this area as EMCs are being set up in Jabalpur and Bhopal.

The setting up of EMCs was approved in the two cities as part of the Prime Minister's dream of making it a 'Digital India', Prasad said.

The Prime Minister has coined a slogan to achieve this dream and that is "IT+IT=IT" (India's Talent + Information Technology = India's Tomorrow). It can be achieved by going in a big way in electronics manufacturing sector, he said.

The minister lamented that though India has 90 crore mobile users, it is not manufacturing any SIM card, smart card, LED lights and cellphones.

The country is importing electronic goods worth 100 billion dollars at present and by 2030 it will reach upto 400 billion dollars and, therefore, the PM has given approval to manufacture all these goods in India, he said.

As part of it, Madhya Pradesh is the first state in the country which has come forward for setting up EMC to manufacture these items.

The Centre will give Rs 17 crore and Rs 21 crore for setting up EMCs at Jabalpur and Bhopal respectively for manufacturing electronic goods like computers, software, LED lights, mobile phones and solar lamps, among others, he said.

As per an evaluation, the electronics manufacturing sector has a potential to generate employment for two lakh people in the country, Prasad said.

Replying to a question on Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited's (BSNL) poor services, he alleged that the earlier government had done nothing to improve its services with an aim to benefiting private players in the field.

However, the new government is determined to improve its quality of services and would take all possible measures to help it, the minister said.

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First Published: Mon, October 06 2014. 15:50 IST