Madhya Pradesh has taken Make-in-India initiative very seriously. Soon after the announcement of the initiative at the national level, the state came out with a set of programmes and policy direction to make Madhya Pradesh a manufacturing hub. The idea is to push for Make-in-Madhya Pradesh initiative with focus on MSMEs.
Recently, we formed a Department for the MSMEs. The purpose is not to regulate the industry, but rather facilitate and provide necessary support in establishment and running of the MSME business. This is clear from the steps that we have taken. We have not set up any regulatory unit under the department rather we have focused on labour and other reforms. Earlier, an MSME was required to be filled in 66 registers. Now all these have been merged into one. Earlier, they were under the purview of 17 different Acts and required to file 17 different types of returns. Now they have been mostly exempted from any such return filing. We are working on different fronts to improve our ranking on the ease-of-doing business.
Make in India is a good and timely initiative. This has been launched at a time when labour cost is rising rapidly in China. In India, labour is still cheaper. We must use our competitive advantage in labour to push for manufacturing.
At the same time, we must remember that we cannot become competitive just because of cheaper labour. Our focus has to be on reducing the overall cost. This will make goods cheaper and improve our competitiveness in the global markets. Corruption is also a big issue. It impedes the growth of industry. In several cases, corruption has acted as the stumbling block. So curbing corruption is an essential part of improving the ease-of-doing business.
In Madhya Pradesh, we are giving a priority to electronics manufacturing, because there is a huge scope in this sector. Nokia that shut down its shop in Chennai recently, is coming to MP. We have outlined a Fab policy. Fabrication is essential for the growth of the electronics manufacturing. China offers huge incentives for fabrication. We also need to do the same, if we want to become competitive in electronics manufacturing.
We are trying to fast track innovation by getting ideas from the private sector. In fact, it has to be a joint effort by the government and the private sector. Both are pitching together to give a push to innovation, which is critically important to make the state competitive in manufacturing. We invite ideas from the industry and private individuals. There is a committee headed by the Chief Secretary that examines these ideas. The ideas are then discussed with the industry, necessary support is provided and action is taken to help implement them.
A number of initiatives have been taken to give a push to skill development in the state. The focus is on sector specific training. We are providing specialised training for IT and electronics. We are also preparing skilled workforce for manufacturing and industry.