The Maharashtra government has decided to set up a manufacturing zone spread over 5,000 hectares under the National Manufacturing Policy, which was announced last month.

The policy seeks to give a fillip to the manufacturing sector so that by 2022, it can contribute at least 25 per cent to the National GDP and add 100 million new jobs to the market. It has identified large integrated areas called National Investment and Manufacturing Zones (NIMZ), which will be the growth drivers for the sector.

NIMZ will be developed as greenfield industrial townships, benchmarked with the global manufacturing hubs. They will address the infrastructural bottleneck, which has been cited as a constraining factor for the growth of manufacturing in the country.

They would be different from Special Economic Zones in terms of size, level of infrastructure planning, and governance structures related to regulatory procedures.

The Acting Industries Secretary of Maharashtra, Dr K. Shivaji, said that the process of identifying land for the NIMZ has been initiated. In the first phase, 5,000 hectares of land will be required but about 6,000 hectares will have to be notified for acquisition, he said.

Dr Shivaji said that the new policy of creating the manufacturing zones would be complementary to the existing Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project, which is also meant for setting up manufacturing units along the corridor. In a way DMIC will become a vehicle for setting up the zones, he said.

Under the DMIC in Maharashtra, new cities near Dighi port, Nashik-Malegoan region, Aurangabad and Dhule have been identified. These cities, which are being developed with funding from Japan, will have synergies with NIMZ. A clearer picture about the location of the NIMZ will emerge in month's time, Dr Shivaji said.