‘Electricity should be available 24 x 7, 365 days a year and at a reasonable rate for the industry to grow’

‘Electricity should be available 24 x 7, 365 days a year and at a reasonable rate for the industry to grow’

Everyone should work together to ensure there is no electricity shortage as it is important for industry to grow and all States should ensure availability of energy from all sources, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in Chennai on Tuesday.

Speaking at an outreach programme on Free Trade Agreements with UAE and Australia, Ms. Sitharaman said “electricity should be available 24 x 7, 365 days a year, quality power with full supply and at a reasonable rate. We should all work together to ensure there is no shortage because it is important for the industry to grow”.

The Finance Minister also called upon companies while making investments to do so with environmental consciousness and green systems.

She said there was also a need for providing the forward and backward linkages to the manufacturing processes in almost all industries. “For example, one of the things that is being spoken about now is fab manufacturing, chip manufacturing in the country. Are we manufacturing the backward and forward linkages? Or do we have to import these linkage products for manufacturing at a higher cost from abroad? I request the State government to get investments in such linkage industries. Otherwise, if there’s some issue in the value chain, and the production will get affected,” she said.

Ms. Sitharaman called upon the industry to make use of the opportunities offered by the FTAs and build market access and identify joint venture partners.

She further said that the Ministry of Commerce would look at the announcements made by the Tamil Nadu government in a policy paper on MSMEs and look at the overlaps and leverage the actionable points so that there is a synergy between the State and the Centre.

Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Anupriya Patel said India was in the process of negotiations for further FTAs and these would be concluded by the end of this year, with the UK, EU and Canada.

Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting and Fisheries L. Murugan also spoke. Tamil Nadu Minister for MSMEs T. M. Anbarasan said the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with the UAE will greatly help manufacturers in the State to compete with countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh for exports to UAE and the Gulf region.

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