Chennai / Bangalore: The long standing demand of the machine tool industry for setting up machine tool parks at select locations in the country may come to fruition, five years after its conception.
The working group on capital goods, formed by the Planning Commission, in the run up to formulating draft document for the 12th five year plan, has recommended setting up of at least three such parks across the country.
The machine tool parks would be equipped with common testing facility, R&D centre and typically serve small and medium companies to expand their operations. We have mooted the idea a few years ago and have been waiting for the government approval. We are optimistic that the planning commission will accept the working group recommendation this time and make it a reality during the 12th plan period,” P J Mohanram, senior advisor, Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers Association (IMTMA) said. The IMTMA, an apex body for the promotion of machine tool industry had been demanding the setting up of such parks in 2007. Recently, the working group on capital goods has recommended developing machine tool parks in at least three regions — south, north and west — to help the industry flourish. The group has favoured setting up such parks under the public private partnership (PPP) model with both the industry and government contributing finance and infrastructure.
Talking to Business Standard on the sidelines of IMTEX Forming 2012, an international exhibition on machine forming tools, here, Mohanram said each of these three parks would see an investment of Rs 1,000 crore from the industry and another Rs 500 crore from the government of India.
Though the working group has not finalised the location to set up these parks, the IMTMA has indicated that Bangalore in south, Rajkot or Pune in West, Ludhiana or Gurgaon in north could be considered for setting up machine tool parks. Already, these cities have emerged as machine tool hubs in their respective regions. For example, Bangalore is home for over 60 per cent of the country’s total machine tool production of about Rs 4,000 crore in 2011.
Once approved by the Planning Commission for inclusion of MT Parks in the 12th Plan, the ministry of heavy industries would sanction the funds for setting up the parks. The IMTMA hopes to realise one such park by 2014.
While the concept of Machine Tool Parks are very common in countries like Taiwan and China, India, which is the seventh largest consumer of machine tools in the world, is yet to see the development of its first park, Vikram Sirur, President, IMTMA, said.
Typically, machine tool parks serve as an integrated industry cluster with several common facilities for small and medium companies to test their products and market them. Each of these parks will ideally have three or four large companies, which are served by several other small companies.
Each park will have about 200-300 acres and provide complete ecosystems and common facilities, logistics among others. Each park would house about 50-100 small and medium companies.
The IMTMA has also proposed to the government to set up a common facility centre as part of the proposed machine tool parks. It is learnt that the steering committee under the Planning Commission is likely to meet on February 2, 2012, to finalise the recommendations of all the 150 working groups formed to prepare the draft plan document for the 12th Five Year Plan, commencing 2012-13.