The domestic machine tool industry is poised for a quantum jump, thanks to the boom in the manufacturing sector.
However, the industry is faced with a huge demand-supply gap, particularly because of the inability of small and medium enterprises to scale up quickly.
To overcome this, the Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers Association has mooted setting up a machine tool park near Bangalore at an investment of Rs 800-1,000 crore (Rs 8 to 10 billion).
The initiative is based on the recent recommendations of the committee on capital goods set up by the Union government jointly with the Confederation of Indian Industry.
As per the recommendations, the machine tool park will be set up with 40 per cent financial assistance from the government, while the remaining 60 per cent will be pooled by SMEs interested in setting up shops, said Mohanram, director - technology division, IMTMA.
As part of the industry-government venture, the park is proposed to be set up at a 200 acre plot at Dobbspet on Tumkur road near Bangalore.
It will provide assistance to over 100 SMEs to manufacture machine tools, accessories and electronic and mechanical items, and set up a design centre.
"It will be a one-stop-shop for the machine tool industry as a whole range of components and tools could be manufactured at the proposed park," Mohanram said.
IMTMA has already sent a proposal to the Union ministry of heavy industries seeking an industry grant of Rs 200 crore (Rs 2 billion) for the park.
The proposal, which is currently with the Planning Commission for inclusion in the 11th Plan period starting 2007-08, is expected to take a firm shape in the next two months, Mohanram said.
The recommendations were discussed and accepted at a meeting recently held by the heavy industry ministry in New Delhi. IL&FS has been assigned the task of working out the detailed project report.
Shrinivas G Shirgurkar, managing director, Ace Designers, said, "It is necessary to establish a machine tool park as it helps small and medium vendors to put up their own production units. They can't do so on their own as land prices in and around Bangalore have hit the roof at Rs 6 crore (Rs 60 million) an acre."
"So, our association has come out with this move to set up a park which will provide common infrastructure to SMEs to put up their facilities."
The park will facilitate setting up of some specialised machine tool manufacturing units.It has also been decided to provide a common centralised banking facility, design centre and marketing arrangements for the units at the proposed park.