New Delhi: In a bid to speed up industrial production especially in the manufacturing sector, government’s dependence on the public sector undertakings has increased in the recent past. Amidst the global economic slowdown and lack of private investments Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has urged PSUs to initiate big projects in order to boost the growth of the manufacturing sector.

Presenting the SCOPE excellence awards to top-performing PSUs, Manmohan Singh said, “There is need to improve the performance of the manufacturing sector.”

He stressed the need for increasing the contribution made by the manufacturing sector to the GDP. Seeing the presence of the PSUs in the machine tools, heavy vehicles sector, earth moving and mining equipment, shipping, defence equipments and aerospace, Singh urged the state run companies to aim for 12 percent to 14 percent growth in the manufacturing sector.

While giving away the awards Manmohan Singh reminded the PSUs of the previous policy of expanding the investment. He said. “I am extremely happy to learn that 17 of our largest Central Public Sector Units (CPSUs) have committed to investment plans amounting to Rs 1, 40,000 crore in the coming year. The mining sector should explore assets abroad to ensure availability of the raw material. Transcending the challenges we must increase the activities of the mining sector. Firms working in the coal, oil and gas sector must look for more opportunities of acquisition in foreign countries.”

Due to present high interest rates there has been a decline in the foreign investment and many companies have put their expansion projects on hold. Therefore PM’s address could be taken as a policy directive. The growth rate for the manufacturing sector recorded for the initial eight months of the present fiscal year is 4.1 percent and to boost further growth it is advised that the manufacturing sector must grow at the rate of 12 to 14 percent.