New Delhi: An inter-ministerial consultation is going on for formulation of a new industrial policy, which would aim at building a globally competitive business environment to increase manufacturing and exports, a top government official has said. This would be the third industrial policy after the first in 1956 and the second in 1991.
It is likely to replace the industrial policy of 1991 which was prepared against the backdrop of the balance of payment crisis. "The policy is in the process of inter-ministerial consultation...It will focus on newer set of industries that has now come," Secretary in Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) Rajesh Kumar Singh told PTI.
The proposed policy is likely to suggest reforms to foster and create a globally progressive, innovative and competitive industrial ecosystem. The six core objectives of the policy may include focus on competitiveness and capability; economic integration and moving up the global value chain; promoting India as an attractive investment destination in the world; nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship; and circular and sustainable ecosystem.
After the completion of the consultations, the department is likely to approach the Union Cabinet for its approval. When asked about the progress on revising Wholesale Price Index (WPI) base year from 2011-12 to 2017-18, Singh said it is also in the process of inter-ministerial consultation. Revising the base year would help in presenting a more realistic picture of the price situation in the country.
The department in June 2021 had issued a draft technical report of a working group, which suggested revising the base year and addition of about 480 items such as medicinal plants, pen drive, lifts, gymnasium equipment, and certain motorcycle engines in the new series. At present, the index has a total of 697 items, including primary articles (117), fuel and power (16) and manufactured products (564).
WPI revision is a periodic exercise. The current revision process of WPI base year has been undertaken to incorporate the structural changes in the economy. Two major indices are used for tracking price movement -- Wholesale Price Index (WPI) and Consumer Price Index (CPI). While WPI measures price movement of goods in wholesale markets, the CPI tracks inflation at the retail level and also includes certain services. Ever since the introduction of WPI in 1942 with base year 1939, seven revisions have taken place introducing new base years - 1952-53, 1961-62, 1970-71, 1981-82, 1993-94, 2004-05 and 2011-12. The current WPI base year 2011-12 series was launched in May 2017.