NEW DELHI: The government is considering to handhold some big players in the labour-intensive sectors like garments, leather and electronics to set up shops in coastal special economic zones (SEZs).

The idea is to help them set up units at two-three ports, which are yet to be identified, so that these big players build an ecosystem where they create jobs and manufacture products that would cater to both domestic and export markets.

A senior government official, privy to the recent high-level meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on employment generation, told ET that Niti Aayog has mooted this proposal as part of government’s strategy to speed up job creation.

India is adding nearly 12 million people to the job market every year and more than 65% of its population is below the age of 35, a big demographic advantage for the nation that is aspiring to become human resource capital of the world.

“Employment generation is one of the top priorities for PM. Hence, the government is exploring all possible ways to push for job creation in labour intensive sectors,” the official quoted above said on the condition of anonymity.

According to the official, government’s premier think-tank Niti Aayog through a long presentation explained the scenarios existing in countries such as Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan and outlined the initiatives in these nations that have translated in job creation following which it had recommended for a dedicated employment generation strategy.

“The proposal is under consideration and soon the concerned ministries will work out the roadmap to identify the ports and players that could be given incentives to set up manufacturing units at these ports,” the official added.

While the contours will be worked out over the next month, the initial plan is to allow products rolled out from these SEZs to be sold in the domestic market as well, unlike the existing provision where manufacturing units in the SEZs are exclusively producing for global market.

This would be the first direct intervention by the government to help create jobs. In the last two years, the BJP-led NDA government has liberalised its foreign direct investment policy, indirectly creating opportunities for jobs creation in almost all sectors.