"Very soon I am going to move the cabinet for approval for this (Amritsar-Delhi-Kolkata Industrial) corridor. I hope to take the (cabinet's) approval by January, first week," Sharma said at the inauguration of the 86th annual general meeting (AMG) of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) held here.
The structural and financing arrangements required to operationalise the project have been tied up with the Japanese government coming in as a strong partner.
According to the minister, the Amritsar-Kolkata industrial corridor is patterned on the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) and will use the dedicated Eastern Freight Train Corridor as the backbone.
The project which will cover Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal is expected to give a major push to industrialisation and job creation in the region.
Sharma said the Bengaluru-Mumbai Economic Corridor (BMEC) project is on course and the United Kingdom has shown keen interest in it.
Recently, international bids for request for qualification (RfQ)-cum-request for proposal (RfP) have been called for selecting a consultant to prepare a prospective plan for the project.
Sharma said that these infrastructure development projects will also give the much needed boost to the manufacturing sector and raise its gross domestic product (GDP) contribution from the current level of 16 percent to 25 percent by 2025.
"The focus on manufacturing should be the first priority for the country if the 150 million people that are expected to join the workforce by 2025 were to be gainfully employed," he said.
Sharma added the government has taken major policy decisions post-2010 and that the issues of governance should be left to the people to judge.
--IANS (Posted on 21-12-2013)