The engineering sector of India, 60-65 percent of which is comprised of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), might soon be getting a Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS), if the recommendation of the Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) is accepted. The EEPC has requested a corpus fund of INR500 crore for the fund, reports Business Standard.
A suggestion has been made to create the fund through public-private partnership (PPP), wherein engineering firms would contribute 49 percent of the amount and the government would provide the balance 51 per cent.
The Fund would help the engineering sector in overcoming its present technological obsolescence, by aiding in R&D efforts. In addition, it would also help in the installation of anti-pollution and energy conservation equipment, and the use of improved packaging techniques. This, in turn, would lead to an improvement in productivity, product quality, and work environment.
This recommendation by the EEPC comes in the wake of the engineering sector seeking help from the Council regarding the export targets it has been assigned. The sector has been asked to achieve a target export of USD92 billion by 2013-14, almost double that of USD43 billion in 2010-11.
"...It is high time they (the government) do something. Without a technology upgradation fund, competing with other countries like China will be very difficult. We have submitted it to the Ministry," stated EEPC Executive Director, R Maitra.
Sharad Aggarwal, convenor of EEPC’s hand tools panel, stated that the TUF will greatly help in overcoming its drawbacks. It will also help put India on the map of important engineering export nations by the year 2020, he stated.