Amid not-so-encouraging performance of the capital goods sector in the country, the government is considering setting up a technology development fund for the sector even as it explores ways to promote SMEs and bring in standardisation.
According to a senior official in the department of heavy industry, a Cabinet note has been circulated on the National Capital Goods policy, which proposes setting up of the fund on the lines of Technology Upgradation Fund Support, which is available for the textiles. The fund will help in equipment replacement under a scheme called Enhancement of Competitiveness of Capital Goods.
“The fund is proposed to have a corpus of Rs 1,000 crore under public-private partnership model to fund technology development and commercialisation in capital goods. This is proposed to be managed by a professional institution. Further, we have also proposed to set up 10 more testing and certification centres like Central Manufacturing Technology Institute, and Central Power Research Institute,” the official said.
Further, the department has also proposed to provide capital assistance of around Rs 500 crore to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for enhancing their competitiveness with focus on quality management, energy management, cost management, and prevention of corrosion among others. While the department will provide 80 per cent of the total cost for such projects, balance will be borne by SMEs, the official said.
Emphasis will also be put on promoting standards developing organisations including Bureau of Indian Standards and industry stakeholders’ interaction with international standard bodies to introduce mandatory standards for the capital goods industry.
The development comes amid the industry witnessing fluctuation in growth rate over the years.